Monthly Archives: December 2013

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The Advance Warning System disseminates information to New Yorkers with special needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with clients and other agencies or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.

With continued low temperatures and wind chills we urge everyone to protect themselves from the effects of cold weather as well as help others who may be at increased risk of health problems from the cold.  


Tips for Staying Warm

Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.

  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
  • Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.

Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk.  If you know of friends, neighbors, or family members who may be at risk check on them to make sure their heat is working and that they are OK.


Helping Others

Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing.

Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face.  Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Provide first aid:

  • If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and call 911.
  • If medical help is not immediately available, re-warm the person, by removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.


What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home

Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure your heat and hot water is restored.


Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Fire safety tips: 

  • Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use.
  • Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. NEVER drape clothes over a space heater to dry.
  • Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
  • Be careful not to overload electrical circuits.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room. Check and change batteries often.

Carbon monoxide safety tips: 

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and check it regularly to make sure the battery is working. NYC law requires owners to provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room.
  • Make sure your heating system is kept clean and properly vented; have worn or defective parts replaced.
  • Kerosene heaters are dangerous and illegal in New York City.
  • Don’t heat your home with a gas stove or oven.
  • Do not use any gas-powered appliance, charcoal grill, or hibachi indoors.
  • Open your garage door before starting your car and do not leave the motor running in an enclosed area. Clear exhaust pipes before starting a car or truck after it snows.
  • The most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is headache. However, symptoms may also include dizziness, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, people can become increasingly irritable, agitated and confused, eventually becoming lethargic and lapsing into unconsciousness.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, and get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.


For more information about cold weather safety and how you can prepare for emergencies call 311 or visit

OEM will continue to monitor this weather system as it affects New York City and the Human Services Unit will keep you updated as the situation develops. If you have any questions or comments during this time, please do not hesitate to contact the Human Services Unit.


NYC OEM Human Services Unit:

Human Services email distribution list: 


Dear Neighbor,

This event has not been widely advertised but there will be an important

Town Hall for Sandy survivors TONIGHT!

PS 277

2529 Gerritsen Avenue

Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn

Tuesday, 12/17, 7pm

The following agencies have been invited:

Build It Back

National Flood Insurance Program



Dept. of Financial Services (insurance)

Army Corps of Engineers

Buildings Department

Health Department

Department of Environmental Protection

Department of Transportation

Department of Environmental Conservation

We encourage you to attend, bring neighbors if possible, and make your needs and concerns known!

Keynote Speaker: Nelba Márquez-Green, Mental Health and Relational Wellness Director, Sandy Hook Promise
May 15, 2014
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
NYU Kimmel Center

Registration information coming soon on our website.Overview:
Understanding the effects of trauma on individuals, groups, and communities is a key factor in delivering effective social work services.  Research indicates that trauma, both psychological and physical, plays a significant part in the development of certain other disorders and health problems.  As more attention has been paid to the occurrence of trauma, the field of trauma research has grown substantially.  Areas such as neurobiology and evidence-based practice (EBP)/evidence-informed care have become key focal points.  It is therefore important that contemporary social workers and those working in mental health and other health-related fields obtain a comprehensive understanding of trauma and continue to keep abreast of continuing developments in the trauma field. This full-day conference is the first in an ongoing workshop series about evidence-based trauma treatments.  The program will expose participants to the essentials of trauma, including: defining trauma and trauma in the recovery process; examining the neurobiological implications of trauma; exploring EBP and emerging interventions; and looking at aspects of evidence-informed care in different populations.  Through this conference, participants will gain core knowledge on which to build a deeper understanding of the effects of trauma and how to work with those who have experienced traumatic life events.

Financial Literacy Workshop – Dec 11 from 9am-12:30pm 


(Registration and Breakfast starts at 8:30, courtesy of NYDIS through the United Way) at the American Red Cross – This half day training is open to DCM staff in NYC within and outside of the NYS DCMP and is intended to serve as a professional development workshop in the area of financial literacy and budgeting with clients.  NYLAG will present on financial literacy/counseling and when to refer clients to financial counseling, the NYC Unmet Needs Roundtable will discuss sustainable recovery and what donors look for in a budget, and there will be role play examples to model the types of conversations that might occur with clients around budgeting.  Register here:



Suzan Rosen

Community Recovery Specialist, Brooklyn and Manhattan


American Red Cross

Greater NY Region

520 West 49th Street

New York, NY 10019



If you are unable to read this issue, please view it on our website


      iNET - National Disaster Interfaiths Network

Disaster Spiritual Care Worker Training
Hartford Seminary – Hartford, CT • January 14, 2014
Hartford Seminary, in partnership with NDIN (National Disaster Interfaiths Network), invites congregation leaders, first responders, chaplains, lay spiritual care providers, mental health professionals, and emergency managers to take this one-day Spiritual Care Worker Training. Participants who complete this certification can volunteer in their own faith community – or with NDIN or its partners. NDIN can also assist unaffiliated volunteers in finding disaster spiritual care volunteer opportunities in local communities across the United States.

This one-day training provides an overview of best practices for volunteers who would be supervised by a disaster chaplain in a mass-casualty situation or in a mass-care setting.

Registration Information
Participants must be endorsed, in writing, by 1) the senior religious leader in their house of worship or religious institution    OR 2) their employer/senior-level supervisor. 

Tuesday, January 14 • 9:00 AM -5:00 PM
Hartford Seminary
77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT (Directions at

Attendance is limited to 35 participants • Register by January 4
Tuition is $110, Paid in Advance – 1 CEU Available by Request
(Continental breakfast and training materials included)

This course is compliant with NIMS (National Incident Management Systems) and incorporates FEMA Incident Command System (IS 100) training. It also complies with the National VOAD* Points of Consensus for Disaster Spiritual Care.
*Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
The Course Curriculum Incorporates:

Operations & Spiritual Care: General Principles; Interventions; Sites and Specifics

  • Emotional and spiritual phases of the disaster “life cycle”
  • Spiritual First Aid:  PCAID (Presence, Connect, Assessment, Intervention, Develop Plan of Care) as an intervention appropriate in any phase of a disaster
  • Disaster human services operations and disaster site operations
  • Practice in applying principles of spiritual and emotional care in various disaster scenarios

Mental Health: Introduction; Impact of Disaster; Response and Reaction

  • Phases of psychological reaction to disaster and impact on behaviors, thoughts, & feelings
  • Psychological First Aid as a basic intervention that does not require professional training
  • Indicators that referrals for professional mental health care may be appropriate

Self-CareThe Need and Techniques; Individual and Community Resilience

  • The need for caregivers to develop effective self-care practices
  • Practices that minimize compassion fatigue (“the cost of caring”) and other stresses related to providing care in times of crisis
  • Strategies to promote recovery and resiliency, especially through support systems that monitor, nourish and maintain self-care for individuals and communities
To Register Click Here   •   To download our Training brochure Click Here