Security/Emergency Information

New security funding for NY Jewish organizations

As you are considering how to best secure your organization while remaining welcoming, UJA-Federation and JCRC-NY are pleased to offer, with generous support from the Paul E. Singer Foundation, additional resources to keep you and your stakeholders safe and secure:

PROFESSIONAL SECURITY ASSESSMENT: Through JCRC, UJA-Federation is making available at no cost to you, professional security assessments so that you can immediately start safeguarding your institution and be ready to apply for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NY State grants. Organizations that professionally assessed are significantly more likely to receive funding than those that do not. For more information, review the information below or contact David Pollock at JCRC.

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SECURITY GRANTS RECIPIENTS BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM: Through the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS), UJA has created a bridge loan fund providing capital to federal and state grant recipients to make all necessary upgrades immediately; and get reimbursed from the state later. Available on a first come, first served basis for organizations that have received security grants, but cannot afford to pay for security enhancements upfront while awaiting reimbursement from the government. This program provides interest-free loans of up to $150,000 to organizations in any of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island Read here for more information, or contact HFLS Director of Finance Daren Scott.

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Start with an assessment

A Terrorism Vulnerability Assessment  examines the threats to your Jewish organization, documents the gaps in physical security measures and security policies and procedures, and the consequences of a terrorist attack. The assessment will also recommend specific steps to mitigate the threats, specifically written to comport with the federal and state grant applications. Click here to apply for an experienced and credentialed security professional to conduct a Terrorism Vulnerability Assessment of your Jewish organization.

Assessments will be scheduled until the funding is exhausted. We hope to serve as many deserving organizations as possible.

Find out how to apply for government grants

Soon,  two grants will be available to certain New York nonprofits. Applications for both the state and federal grants must be submitted through the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Click here for their nonprofit grants page. Here are the details.

New York State Grants Gateway/Prequalification

New York State will not accept applications for grants unless the nonprofit applicant is prequalified, i.e., applicants must upload basic organizational documents and answer questions about their nonprofit’s capacity and integrity. This portal is known as the “Grants Gateway.”

  • New applicants. See JCRC-NY’s additional information about how to get started and special instructions for religious corporations at: http://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/.
  • Previously prequalified. If your nonprofit was previously prequalified, you will still have to update certain documents if your document vault “expires” (i.e, certain information goes out of date). Check out your Document Vault for more information.

Prequalification is not as hard as it may look, but it’s important to get started now! Your organization will not be able to apply unless you are prequalified.

New York State Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants

New York State, committed to ensuring the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers, is launching a second round of the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program to boost safety and security at New York’s nonpublic schools, day care centers and cultural museums at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission. In support of this effort, a total of $10.1 million in grant funding has been made available on a statewide basis.

  • Availability. Now.
  • Eligibility. Nonpublic schools (Preschool-12), nonprofit day care centers (including those housed in JCC’s and synagogues) and cultural museums that are at risk of hate crimes or attacks against their facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. For the purpose of the grant, terrorism is included as a category of hate crime. Click here for the exact details on eligibility.
  • Maximum grant amount. Applications will be accepted for up to $50,000 per facility. Eligible organizations with multiple sites may submit up to three applications for a maximum total request of up to $150,000 allowed per organization.
  • What will the grant pay for?
    • Hardening the organization’s facility or facilities including recreational areas adjacent to the facility through exterior physical security enhancements; and/or
    • Providing security training that will advance the knowledge of security personnel and staff.
  • Deadline. Applications are due to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services by 5:00 pm on December 19, 2018. Applications submitted past this date will be disqualified. Individual extensions will not be given.
  • Application form. Applicants must complete the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool to describe the organization’s significant risk of a hate crime and its proposed equipment and training needs to prevent and protect against a hate crime.
  • Risk/Security/Threat Assessment. Applicants with a current or previously conducted (within three years) risk/security/threat assessment completed by a police department, private company or university should base their Risk Evaluation Tool submission on the information, analyses and findings contained in the risk/security/threat assessment(s). However, no assessment is required.
  • What are your chances? Last year, all of the eligible applicants that filed a complete application were awarded a grant.
  • Additional assistance. See JCRC-NY’s dedicated webpage at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations.

    • Availability. Sometime in Spring, 2019.
    • Eligibility. Nonprofit organizations in New York City, Long Island and Westchester that are determined to be at high risk of a terrorist attack by the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Maximum grant amount. Unknown. Last year the maximum was $150,000. The upcoming grant may place a $100,000 cap (or less) so that more organizations can be funded.
    • What will the grant pay for? Allowable costs are focused on target hardening and physical security enhancements. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property (including buildings and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against the risk of a terrorist attack. This equipment is limited to select items in the following two categories of items on the Authorized Equipment List (AEL):
      • Physical Security Enhancement Equipment (Category 14)
      • Inspection and Screening Systems (Category 15)
      • Training. Allowable training topics are limited to the protection of critical infrastructure key resources, including physical and cybersecurity, target hardening, and terrorism awareness/employee preparedness including programs such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, Active Shooter training, and emergency first aid training. Training conducted using NSGP funds must address a specific threat and/or vulnerability, as identified in the nonprofit organization’s Investment Justification.
      • Planning. Funding may be used for security or emergency planning expenses and the materials required to conduct planning activities. Planning must be related to the protection of the facility and the people within the facility and should include with access and functional needs as well as those with limited English proficiency. Examples of planning activities allowable under this program include:
        • Development and enhancement of security plans and protocols;
        • Development or further strengthening of security assessments;
        • Emergency contingency plans;
        • Evacuation/Shelter-in-place plans; and
        • Other project planning activities with prior approval from DHS/FEMA.

Deadline. Unknown. It is unlikely that this grant will be offered until there is a federal budget in place.

Application form. Applicants must complete a spreadsheet called an Investment Justification. We assume that the 2019 Investment Justification will be similar to those used in previous years, so applicants thinking of applying for the federal grant should draft their answers using the 2018 form and cut and paste their responses into the 2019 form when it is released.

  • Risk/Security/Threat Assessment. The Investment Justification asks for findings from a “previously conducted risk assessment. The most useful risk assessments are from certified, independent security professionals, but police department crime prevention surveys and self assessments are acceptable.
  • What are your chances? Last year, 112 nonprofits in the New York area were awarded Nonprofit Security Grant Program grants and approximately twice that number applied.
  • Additional assistance. See JCRC-NY’s dedicated webpage at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants.

 

Hebrew Free Loan Society bridge loans for security grant recipients

The Hebrew Free Loan Society’s Security Grants Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans of up to $150,000 to Jewish Community agencies in any of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island that have been awarded government grants to fund security improvements. These grants require agencies to pay up front for the work and then to submit receipts for reimbursement, which causes a cash flow problem for some agencies to the point that they are unable to take advantage of the award. HFLS is partnering with UJA-Federation of New York to provide interest-free bridge loan financing to ensure that grant awardees can proceed with the work necessary to increase security and safety for their community. Click here to learn more and here for the application.

Another round of NY Hate Crimes grants

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the $10 million grant program to help protect New York’s non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions, against hate crimes is now accepting applications. Building upon the success of last year’s first round which provided $14.8 million in grants, the program provides funding to help strengthen security measures and help prevent hate crimes or attacks against these facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. Day care centers, including those that are housed in community centers, and non-profit cultural museums are also eligible to apply.

Related Documents

Frequently Asked Questions
Updated as of 10/30/2018
Eligibility:
Question: Is my organization eligible for this grant funding?
Answer: You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:

Have received a Recognition of Exempt Status Determination letter from the IRS pursuant to 26 USC §501(c)(3). Alternatively, the applicant may self-certify by providing a letter affirming that the organization qualifies as a §501(c)(3) organization and is exempt from tax pursuant to 26 USC §501(a); and meet at least one of the following:

  • are a non-profit nonpublic school recognized with the New York State Department of Education with a current Basic Educational Data System (BEDS code); or
  • are a non-profit day care center or school-age child care program licensed and/or registered, respectively, by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
  • are a group day care center permitted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; or
  • have enrolled group programs. that are legally-exempt from the requirement to be licensed or registered by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
  • are a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people;

AND

  • Be at a significant risk of a hate crime due to ideology, beliefs, or mission;

AND

  • Be registered, have recently applied for registration or be exempt from registering with the NYS Attorney General’s Office, Charities Bureau;

AND

  • Be prequalified, through the New York State Grants Gateway at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov prior to application submission.

Question: Is there a more specific definition as to what is considered a “museum”?

Answer: For purposes of this grant program, non-profit cultural museums are defined of the RFA as: “a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people.”
To be eligible for funding as a non-profit cultural museum, your application must demonstrate that you meet this requirement.

Question: What kind of proof do you require for non-profit cultural museums defined as a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people?
Answer: While there are no specific documents required for cultural museums to submit, when completing the Risk Evaluation Tool, your response to the Background Information section should include any relevant information to demonstrate that you are applying for a building or site for the exhibition or production of arts and culture of a particular region or people.

Question: Are non-profit colleges (i.e., a medical school), or institutions of higher education eligible?
Answer: Non-profit non-public schools (through grade 12) are eligible to apply. While institutions of higher education are not included as part of eligible applicant pool under this Request for Applications.

Application Requirements

Question: Do you require any quotes or information uploaded for the projects?
Answer: You should not provide vendor quotes with your application. You should gather estimated costs for your application budget but you should not be engaging in bidding or contracting with vendors until and unless you are awarded funding and have received an executed grant contract from DHSES. If you are awarded a grant you will need to comply with all State procurement guidelines and regulations in the grant contract.

Question: Are there matching requirements for the grant?
Answer: No, there are no matching funds required for this grant.
Question: Are there reporting requirements once an award has been made?
Answer: Yes, there are reporting requirements for successful applicants of this grant. Please visit our website at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/forms-egrants.cfm and scroll down to the section titled “Contract Certifications & Appendices” to review standard contract documents.

Question: If I do not have a completed risk/threat/vulnerability assessment on file, do I still need to fill out the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool?
Answer: Yes. The DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool is a required application submission.

Question: What must be submitted to consider the application complete?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via E-Grants and all required sections as shown in the tutorial must be answered. Applications must also include:

  • the completed DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool
  • a color, ground-level photo of the front façade of the facility, which is labeled with the name and address of facility
  • Status History Report from Grants Gateway website showing prequalification status
  • Documentation indicating your BEDS code and; a copy of the license and/or registration issued by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services or permit issues by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; if enrolled legally exempt, the Notice of Enrollment submitted as an attachment.

Question: What is the application due date for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications are due to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services by 5:00 pm on December 19, 2018. Applications submitted past this date will be disqualified. Individual extensions will not be given.

Question: What will happen if I fail to answer all the required sections of the application?
Answer: Applicants are required to answer all the required sections in E-Grants and attach all the required documents. Failure to answer all the required questions on the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool will lead to a reduction in your score for the section being reviewed and could lead to an unfavorable overall score by the review panel. Failure to attach all the required documents will disqualify you from the review process.

Question: Can I submit more than one application?
Answer: Applications will be accepted for up to $50,000 per facility. Eligible organizations may submit up to three applications for a maximum total request of up to $150,000 allowed per organization.

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

Question: We do not own our building, we rent space; can we still purchase equipment?
Answer: Permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Any applicant who proposes work on a leased property is exclusively responsible to ensure compliance with the landlord lease agreement and associated requirements, particularly with regard to structural alterations, equipment installations and any alterations made with grant funds. Additionally, applicant/grantee is solely responsible for compliance with any and all federal, state and local permitting or environmental compliance requirements. Security enhancements must be for the facility or facilities that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.

Question: Are costs associated with conducting a risk assessment reimbursable under this grant?
Answer: No, since a risk assessment is not a requirement, costs associated with a risk assessment are not reimbursable under this grant.

Question: What are the consequences of requesting budget items that are not allowable?
Answer: If you request budgetary items that are not allowed under the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program, those items will not be considered.

Question: Can the grant be used for security installations during the construction of a facility?
Answer: No. Security enhancements must be for the facility(ies) that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.

Question: What equipment can be purchased with this grant?
Answer: For purposes of this grant, permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Allowable equipment consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Perimeter lighting;
  • Door hardening;
  • Alarm systems;
  • Camera-based security systems;
  • Access control systems;
  • Perimeter fencing; barriers;
  • bollards;
  • Blast resistant film for windows/shatter resistant glass.

Question: Can organizations ask for a combination of exterior hardening and security training, or is only one type of cost category allowed to be requested.
Answer: Organizations may request a combination of allowable costs listed in the RFA on Page 5 but must stay within the cap as noted on Page 1 of the RFA.

Question: We plan to add cameras to the facility’s exterior. Improvements to the interior network will be required to handle the camera’s essential recording and monitoring functions. Are those network improvements eligible costs?
Answer: Improvements or upgrades to a current CCTV system would be an eligible cost as long as you are installing/upgrading cameras to the exterior of the facility.

Question: Are fire alarm systems eligible?
Answer: Per the RFA under Section F. Authorized Program Expenditures; applications must be for projects to protect against hate crime activity by: Hardening the organization’s facility or facilities including recreational areas adjacent to the facility through exterior physical security enhancements; and/or providing security training that will advance the knowledge of security personnel and staff. Fire alarm systems do not meet the requirements under this RFA.

Question: Can we apply for Management and Administration (M&A) costs to have someone manage the installation of the equipment and/or oversee the grant project?
Answer: No, M&A costs are not allowable under this grant funding.

Technical

Question: How do I submit my application for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via DHSES’s E-Grants system. If you are not registered to use the E-Grants system, your agency will need to register and be assigned a user name and password. Please refer to: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm for detailed instructions.

Question: Why can’t I find the link to go directly to E-Grants?
Answer: E-Grants is a secure system. Once you have been registered and issued a username and password, you will be sent the link to the E-Grants sign in page. You should bookmark this link.

Question: If I am already registered as a user of E-Grants, can I just use my existing username and password to create a new application?
Answer: Yes, you may. However, if you have not used E-Grants recently you may find your username and password have been disabled. In that case, send an e-mail to: grant.info@dhses.ny.gov and identify your name, agency and current username and password (if known).

Question: Is there a specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool being uploaded using E Grants?
Answer: No, there is no specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool, however, it would be helpful it you identified if by the name of the organization or address of the facility.

Question: Attachment B DHSES Risk Assessment Tool (pg. 19 of RFA) asks about a previous risk/security/threat assessment, is this assessment necessary in order to apply for this grant funding?
Answer: No. We do not require that you have an assessment as part of the grant application process. If you do have an assessment you should use it to help you complete the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool.

Question: What will happen if I am late to register on E-Grants?
Answer: If you do not register on time for E-Grants you risk missing your overall deadline for the application. You should register as soon as you know that you intend to submit an application to avoid any issues.

Question: What will happen if I select the wrong funding program in E-Grants?
Answer: Please ensure you select the correct funding program for your application. If you select the wrong funding program in E-Grants, your application will be disqualified. The funding program for this grant is called “Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes.”
Question: How do I upload documents to my E-Grants Application?
Answer: See the E-Grants tutorial page 54 through 58 at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm

Devastating attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

Our hearts and prayers go out for the dead, wounded and survivors — all innocent victims of a blatantly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. We are deeply grateful to the first responders who ran towards the bullets and prevented the carnage from getting any worse. The messages  of solidarity, hope and revulsion to anti-Semitism offered by many public officials and community leaders reassure us of the basic goodness of our nation. Still, recent events reinforce our ongoing concern that the hatred and violence borne by homegrown violent extremists can stem from many sources and motivations. When any group or faith is at risk, we are all at risk.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the NYPD deployed heavy weapons teams, including the officers from the Critical Response Command and the Strategic Response Team, to houses of worship across the City to supplement the patrol cars in every command making additional visits to reassure congregants. We have been in touch with the NYPD, the DHS and the FBI. Currently, there is no nexus to New York or any credible, direct threat to New York or the broader Jewish community. However, the confluence of mail bombs and the Tree of Life attack could be a catalyst for other copycat attacks.

According to NYPD SHIELD, “active shooters often choose to target religious locations/houses of worship during peak times and may make use of a wide range of tactics and weapons in attacks including, but not limited to, improvised explosive devices, assault rifles, improvised incendiary devices, and knives. Religious locations/houses of worship must take into account a diversity of tactics in preparing plans and response scenarios for potential crises and routinely familiarize all staff and students with emergency-specific lock down, shelter-in-place, and evacuation procedures.”

Action steps

  • Report. Anyone who observes any suspicious behavior is encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately at 888-NYC-SAFE. If you see something, say something.
  • Overview. Look at the recent DHS publication, Mass Gatherings: Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places, can be a great template for your security planning process. Virtually every suggestion in the document can be applied to your planning process. Organizations should “Connect, Plan, Train, and Report”. Applying these four steps in advance of a possible incident or attack can help better prepare  us to proactively think about the role that our whole community plays in the safety and security of our organizations.
  • Connect. The first step in the process is to “Connect”. You should have an ongoing relationship with your local police precinct. They should know when your services and programs are scheduled. If you don’t know your local police officials, the JCRC can help. Click here to contact us.
  • Plan.
  • Active Shooter response. Many of our contacts attended active shooter trainings offered in the New York area last week. If you could not attend either session or another training, click here for the JCRC-NY dedicated Active Shooter Resources webpage that includes resources from many sources. If you want to arrange a training the JCRC can help, based on available resources. Click here to contact us.
  • Access control. If an attacker can walk into a building unchallenged bad things will happen. No unauthorized person should be able to enter your building at any time. The first step is to develop a feasible access control policy (see our Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures) and to keep any door that cannot be monitored and controlled locked.
  • Security personnel. Guards at synagogues vary in quality, but generally, almost anything is better than nothing. Volunteers are good, trained volunteers are better. Uniformed guards (e.g., identifiable shirts, vests, blazers) can be deterrents. Guards who are off-duty or retired police or corrections officers bring experience, training and judgement. To be effective, any guard has to have clear instructions and procedures (see below). NYPD does have a Paid Detail Unit which provides officers to perform off-duty, uniformed security work within New York City for approximately $45/hour.  Click here for more information and contact details. For a discussion of armed vs. unarmed guards see our post Armed or unarmed security, what’s best? and a guest post here.
Quick tips: What should your guard(s) be doing?
no-potted-plantGuards should not be merely uniformed potted plants adorning your lobby. Rather, they should be an important and active component of your overall security plan.If you have a single guard, his/her logical priority is access control (see our suggestions on how to develop an access control policy here). At the same time, don’t lose sight of other important functions, including:

  • Vigilance. While they are on duty they can observe what is going on outside your building and monitor CCTV, possibly leading to the early detection of hostile surveillance or imminent hostile acts. See our suggestions for detecting hostile surveillance here.
  • Walk-arounds. Remember the Chelsea bombs? They were hidden in a trash container and a suitcase. If someone planted a device in your garbage can would anyone find it? One best practice is to have your guard tour your facility, inside and out, looking for something that “Just doesn’t look right”.
  • Notifications.Your guard should be given defined protocol and procedures if something “Just doesn’t look right” : who to notify (e.g., senior staff, general alarm), how to act and what else to do.
  • Crisis management. A well trained guard should be able to follow the protocols and procedures defined by you. They should be able to support responses such as bomb threats, evacuations and/or sheltering-in-place.

The security management industry calls instructions for guards, “post orders” which clearly outline the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of security guards. For example, your post orders should clearly set forth your access control policies and define the areas of your property that should be included in a walk-around and their time and frequency (e.g., upon arrival and upon returning from lunch).

 

 

National Preparedness Month couldn’t be more relevant

Forecasters predict that Hurricane Florence will aim its “potential for unbelievable damage” at the Carolinas and Virginia and will not have a significant impact on the New York area.

Beware! It’s peak hurricane season and this is not a time for complacency. We may see fewer hurricanes this year, but scientists conclude that hurricanes are getting wetter and slower.

Register for DHS Active Shooter Workshops

Posted on August 17, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is offering Active Shooter Preparedness Workshops in the New York area on October 16 (NYC) and October 19 (White Plains). For additional information and a schedule of other sites and dates  contact ASWorkshop@hq.dhs.gov.

Participants will learn how to mitigate the impacts of an active shooter incident and how to develop an initial organizational emergency action plan focused on such incidents.

Topics include:

  • Developing an Emergency Action Plan with guidance from expert instructors;
  • Identifying strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in physical security and planning considerations via break-out sessions;
  • Learning how to prevent active shooter incidents by recognizing behavioral indicators on the pathway to violence;
  • Understanding the history of significant active shooter incidents through survivor stories and expert perspectives;
  • Developing communication and incident plans for employees;
  • Building relationships with local first responders;
  • Coordinating with first responders before, during, and after an incident; and
  • Integrating public affairs into incident management.

Follow the links to see more information and to register for the New York City event on October 16, 2018 and for the White Plains event on October 18, 2018. Registration is required and seating is limited.

Click here for the JCRC-NY dedicated Active Shooter Resources webpage that includes resources from many sources.