Security/Emergency Information

Nonprofit grants are around the corner

The 2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget includes $20 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. According to the best information DHS will release its general grant guidance information to the states in mid-February. NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will then develop its RFA (application package) based on the DHS guidance. The RFA will specify a deadline for all applications to be electronically submitted. Note: In NY, the requirements and deadlines posted by NY DHSES are final.

This year, we expect very few changes in the RFA. Make sure that you’re prequalified (see below). Don’t wait. If you intend to apply for the grant get started now.

NSGP 2016: Here’s what you can do now
Prequalification NY nonprofits should register at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov/ &
complete their Document Vault . See JCRC-NY’s additional
information at: http://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/

If your nonprofit was previously prequalified, you will still have to update certain documents or your document vault is expired. Check our your document vault for more information.

E-Grant registration If you have an existing account (and remember the
username/password), you’re fine; to register for the DHSES E-Grant
system, email: grants@dhses.ny.gov
Risk assessment Find guidance and contacts at:
http://www.jcrcny.org/security-assessment/
Investment Justification Download
http://www.jcrcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FY2015NSGP_InvestmentJustification.pdf and work on responses to each section. It’s unlikely that there will be any significant changes, except possibly Section VII (Impact).
For the most up-to-date info http://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants

JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation worked closely with JFNA and its partners worked very hard to bolster the NSGP program allocation this year, and the roles of the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel were critical.

JCRC: training here, training there

The past few months have been busy with JCRC-NY coordinating major  training sessions for hundreds of institutions in the NY area. There is a heightened awareness of the potential for attacks and a willingness on the part of organizations to “Step up their Game.”

All of the trainings focused on security/terrorism awareness, building a culture of security within organizations and active shooter responses. Kudos and thanks to our wonderful partners, including: NYPD Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Our common goals are to strengthen the ties between law enforcement and nonprofit organizations and to empower them by giving them to tools and knowledge to respond as well as possible. Here’s some examples of our recent work: Continue Reading

Blizzard on the way?

NWS Most likely accumulations

Mayor de Blasio today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Saturday, January 23, 2016 through Sunday, January 24, 2016. Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties have issued similar advisories. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Watch for New York City from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. This system is forecast to bring heavy snow along with strong and potentially damaging winds, and will create slick and hazardous travel conditions. Stay tuned for the latest updates via Notify NYC, NYC Severe Weather.

What’s in store? For most of the region, the current NWS forecast is for heavy snow (8 to 12 inches forecast) and potentially damaging northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph in much of the region. There is also likely to be coastal flooding over multiple high tide cycles.

How should I prepare? Travel during the storm may be extremely dangerous due to heavy snowfall, strong winds and whiteout conditions. Some roads may become impassable and strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs.

  • Stock up with enough food and supplies. You might not be able to shop over the weekend.
  • Have extra batteries on hand in the event of power outages.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who are vulnerable.

Travel Safety Tips. New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following precautions:

Motorists

  • If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions. Use mass transportation whenever possible.
  • Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
  • Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
  • Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck in snow.
  • If you get stuck on the road, stay with your car and contact a towing company.

Pedestrians

  • Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible.
  • Wear layers including a hat, gloves/mittens, and a scarf to stay protected from the cold. And keep clothes and shoes dry, if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
  • Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.

Safe Home Heating Tips

  • Report any loss of heat or hot water to property managers immediately, and call 311.
  • If homes lack heat, get to a warm place, if possible, and wear extra layers of dry, loose-fitting clothing, hats and gloves to help stay warm.
  • Never use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Never use a kerosene or propane space heater, charcoal or gas grill, or generator indoors or near the home.
  • Check on your neighbors, friends, and relatives — especially the elderly and those with disabilities and access and functional needs. People most likely to be exposed to dangerous winter weather conditions include those who lack shelter, work outdoors, and/or live in homes with malfunctioning or inadequate heat. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs, and people with cognitive impairments such as from dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability, are at increased risk.

More Information
For more helpful tips for staying warm and safe, view NYC Emergency Management’s public service video announcement, or visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Training opportunity: Stepping up our game | Jan 5

Stepping up our game

 

What is cyber-hygiene? IRS guidance on Cyber-Monday

Sometimes the IRS really does want to help us. Their suggestions are straightforward and spot on:


Photo credit: Duke University

Seven Tips to Protect Your Computer Online

IRS Security Awareness Tax Tip Number 1, November 23, 2015

The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry urge you to be safe online and remind you to take important steps to help protect yourself against identity theft.

Taxes. Security. Together. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are looking to steal your personal information – and your money. But there are simple steps you can take to help protect yourself, like keeping your computer software up-to-date and giving out your personal information only when you have a good reason.

We all have a role to play to protect your tax account. There are just a few easy and practical steps you can take to protect yourself as you conduct your personal business online.

Here are some best practices you can follow to protect your tax and financial information:

  1. Understand and Use Security Software.  Security software helps protect your computer against the digital threats which are prevalent online. Generally, your operating system will include security software or you can access free security software from well-known companies or Internet providers. Other options may have an annual licensing fee and offer more features. Essential tools include a firewall, virus/malware protection and file encryption if you keep sensitive financial/tax documents on your computer. Security suites often come with firewall, anti-virus and anti-spam, parental controls and privacy protection. File encryption to protect your saved documents may have to be purchased separately. Do not buy security software offered as an unexpected pop-up ad on your computer or email! It’s likely from a scammer.
  2. Allow Security Software to Update Automatically.  Set your security software to update automatically. Malware – malicious software – evolves constantly and your security software suite is updated routinely to keep pace.
  3. Look for the “S” for Encrypted “https” Websites.  When shopping or banking online, always look to see that the site uses encryption to protect your information. Look for https at the beginning of the web address. The “s” is for secure. Unencrypted sites begin with an http address. Additionally, make sure the https carries through on all pages, not just the sign-on page.
  4. Use Strong Passwords.  Use passwords of at least 10 to 12 characters, mixing letters, numbers and special characters. Don’t use your name, birthdate or common words. Don’t use the same password for several accounts. Keep your password list in a secure place or use a password manager. Don’t share your password with anyone. Calls, texts or emails pretending to be from legitimate companies or the IRS asking you to update your accounts or seeking personal financial information are generally scams.
  5. Secure Your Wireless Network.  A wireless network sends a signal through the air that allows you to connect to the Internet. If your home or business wi-fi is unsecured it also allows any computer within range to access your wireless and steal information from your computer. Criminals also can use your wireless to send spam or commit crimes that would be traced back to your account. Always encrypt your wireless. Generally, you must turn on this feature and create a password.
  6. Be Cautious When Using Public Wireless Networks.  Public wi-fi hotspots are convenient but often not secure. Tax or financial Information you send though websites or mobile apps may be accessed by someone else. If a public Wi-Fi hotspot does not require a password, it probably is not secure. If you are transmitting sensitive information, look for the “s” in https in the website address to ensure that the information will be secure.
  7. Avoid Phishing Attempts.  Never reply to emails, texts or pop-up messages asking for your personal, tax or financial information. One common trick by criminals is to impersonate a business such as your financial institution, tax software provider or the IRS, asking you to update your account and providing a link. Never click on links even if they seem to be from organizations you trust. Go directly to the organization’s website. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through unsecured channels.

To learn additional steps you can take to protect your personal and financial data, visit Taxes. Security. Together. Also read Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

IRS YouTube Video:

  • Taxes. Security. Together. – English
Posted in Cybersecurity