Security/Emergency Information

Hurricane Harvey Relief Funds

Posted on August 28, 2017

Note: There are fraudsters who are known to take advantage of the tendency to generously respond to disasters.The FBI’s New York Field Office reminds the public to apply a critical eye before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of Harvey victims. In the past, tragedies and natural disasters have inspired individuals with criminal intent to solicit contribution while falsely representing a charitable organization or good cause.

Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, the public should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:

  • Donate to charities you know and trust.
  • Designate the disaster to ensure your funds go toward disaster relief.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited e-mail.
  • Don’t assume that charity messages posted on social media are legitimate. Research the organization.
  • Verify the legitimacy of any e-mail solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number.
  • Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
  • Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
  • Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services. Most legitimate charity websites end in .org rather than .com.
  • Make contributions directly, rather than relying on others to make a contribution on your behalf.

“As we continue to keep those affected by Hurricane Harvey in our thoughts, we must also remember how tragedies like this often serve as a breeding ground for those who want to take advantage of people’s generosity. It’s heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from people across the country who are eager to donate to the relief cause, but we urge everyone to be smart and exercise their due diligence in researching the organizations they intend to donate to. As always, it’s essential that every penny donated goes into the pockets of those who are most in need,” said Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.

See Potential  Hurricane Harvey Phishing Scams published by DHS’ Com.

The following organizations in our network are responding to Hurricane Harvey (this is a partial list which will be updated as we receive more information):

As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Texas (see the JTA article and here) , the Jewish Federations of North America (UJA-Federation is a member)  opened an emergency relief fund to support communities and individuals in Houston, San Antonio, Galveston, Corpus Christi and other areas that have been hammered by Hurricane Harvey.  With record breaking volumes of rain having fallen through the weekend and expected to continue through tomorrow, extensive damage is continuing to mount.

Lee Wunsch, CEO of the Houston Federation, reports that the amount of rain and resulting flooding has surpassed that of the massive storm two years ago.  Bayous and tributaries are flooding beyond their banks and roads are impassable.  People whose homes are flooding are being advised to go up to their roofs so they can be evacuated; emergency workers were evacuating stranded residents through the night.

We know that several Jewish communal institutions that flooded two years ago have flooded again, but communities in the affected areas won’t be able to start assessing the scope of damage to institutions and members of their communities until the rain stops and roads become passable.

Note: There are fraudsters who are known to take advantage of the tendency to generously respond to disasters. See Potential  Hurricane Harvey Phishing Scams published by DHS’ Com.  The following organizations in our network are responding to Hurricane Harvey (this is a partial list which will be updated as we receive more information):

Posted in Recovery

Dismissal time alert: Threat for Severe Thunderstorms and Flash Flooding

Posted on June 19, 2017

The New York area office of the  National Weather Service forecasts the possibility of severe weather late this afternoon and beyond. In some areas the heavy rains might arrive at 2-3PM. We suggest that you closely monitor the weather reports for your area and be prepared to institute alternative dismissal plans if necessary.

Exercise caution when walking, driving, or biking. Winds at these speeds can cause flying debris, turn unsecured objects into projectiles, & cause power outages. Charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, & turn refrigerators/freezers to a colder setting. Stay clear of downed power lines. If you are affected by an outage, turn off all appliances & keep refrigerator/freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage. Do not use generators indoors. If you lose power & have a disability/access needs, or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 9-1-1.

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Posted in Severe weather

Nonprofit Security Grant: Last minute FAQ’s

Posted on June 09, 2017

Applications Due by June 12, 2017, 11:59 pm. We know that many of you are busy trying to finish up the work while facing a crazy deadline. Here are some last minute tips:

Technical problems

  • Prequalification/Document Vault. To those of you who are still trying to upload everything into your Document Vault: If you get a message that says that your Document Vault was  sent back for modifications, that something is wrong with it. Check it out the report and fix whatever is missing or incomplete. Too many people are just resubmitting it “as is”.  The Grants Gateway staff is working overtime to try to prequalify everyone who completes the work. Please don’t waste their time.
  • Faulty Investment Justification template. Our friends in Washington, DC initially sent Albany a problematic file. If you downloaded a form Monday morning and are having trouble entering information, simply download another here.

Investment Justification FAQ’s

  • Tips. Don’t know how to answer a question? See our suggestions here and from JFNA here.
  • Threats. Remember, you are told to “discuss findings from risk assessment, police findings, and/or insurance claims at the location where the physical security enhancements will be installed.”
    • Cite you risk assessment and the author’s credentials (e.g., an industry certification like CPP, police department, etc.).
    • Mention mail, telephonic or electronic threats, negative graffiti or vandalism at your facility or those nearby.
    • If your risk assessment doesn’t cite the key threats, note that the updated National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin concludes that “specific attack tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives, and homemade explosives, as well as other acts such as taking hostages.”
  • Tell a story.
    • Vulnerability. Your risk assessment informs you about what can go wrong. Your risk assessment should itemize your vulnerability. For example: “The main entrance, fire egress doors and internal doors will not withstand a forced entry attack or limit unauthorized persons from accessing interior areas of the building” or “Electronic access control systems are not utilized to support authorized-only accessibility within and throughout the building and the system does not have an emergency lockdown feature. Much of the building is interconnected and once entry has been made into the building, an attacker can reach most other areas of the facility.” Choose to address your high priority vulnerabilities with this grant.
    • Target hardening.  Your improvements must address identified threats or vulnerabilities. So, using the “Door” vulnerability  the recommendation is: “To limit unauthorized persons from pushing in and/or breaking through the main entrance, it is recommended that these doors and their related framings, hinges, closing hardware, glass panels, walls, ceiling and locking systems be modified to be forced entry resistant. The installation and proper use of impact resistant doors might deter an attack, might deny an intruder entry, should delay his/her entry, thereby  mitigating the injuries and damage from an attack.” The second section of Target Hardening requires the AEL code and description (14SW-01-DOOR | Doors and Gates, Impact Resistant), a simple reference to your vulnerability section (e.g., Vulnerable Doors), and a cost estimate.
  • Costs. You don’t have to get bids during the application process. However, if you are awarded a grant and find that you need to modify your plan you must receive permission from NYS DHSES and they must have it approved by DHS.
  • Impact. Confused about “measurable outputs and outcomes”? See our tips or our webpage.

Finishing up

  • EGrants. Remember, your entire application package must be submitted via E-Grants.
    • Don’t wait for the last minute! If you have questions (If you have a problem: DHSES can be reached at 1-866-837-9133 or  Grant.Info@dhses.ny.gov) you might not be able to get an answer right away due to the onrush of questions. Allocate enough time for things to go wrong.
    • Use the E-Grants tutorial.  We open the E-Grants document in one window and the tutorial in another. Then, we simultaneously scroll through the tutorial and the E-Grants forms and fill in the blanks with whatever the tutorial recommends.
  • Checklist. Sorry, we’re too busy to produce our fancy checklist this year. The RFA explains “To be considered for funding, eligible nonprofit organization must submit a complete application using the State’s Electronic Grants (E-Grants) System (Click on the link if you don’t have an E-Grants Registration account).
    • Investment Justification Template (Submitted as an attachment in E-Grants)
    • Contact Information (Section of E-Grants)
    • Proposed Project Workplan Information (Section of E-Grants)
    • Budget Request Information (Section of E-Grants)
    • Certification to Accept the Assurances (Section of E-Grants)
    • Status History report from Grants Gateway website showing prequalification status (Submitted as an attachment in E-Grants)
    • Signed and notarized Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire (Submitted as an Attachment in E-Grants)
    • Mission Statement (Submitted as an attachment in E-Grants)
    • Threat and/or vulnerability assessment, if installing equipment at more than one location, assessments must be submitted for each location (Submitted as an attachment in E-Grants)

The Nonprofit Security Grant is here and due in NY June 12

Posted on June 02, 2017

Nonprofit Security Grant Program 2017

June 3, 2017 |

  1. This year DHS is providing $25,000,000 for target hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the specific UASI-designated urban areas (click here for the complete list).
  2. New York’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Request for Applications (RFA) is posted here. The due date in NY is Monday, June 12, 2017. Yes, everyone knows that this is a crazy schedule, but there’s no choice.
  3. If your Grants Gateway Document Vault is not pre-certified (or well under way) you are running out of time. Organizations that are not pre-certified cannot apply for the grants. Click here for more information.
  4. A PDF of the Investment Justification is available here. The actual spreadsheet will be available on the NY DHSES webpage. You will notice that the questions remain the same, but that there are some formatting improvements.
  5. The New York State Hate Crimes grant applications will probably be released towards the end of the month. As soon as we see the RFA we will publish additional materials to help qualified groups apply for that grant.
Powerpoint presentation Our apologies to those who couldn’t join the webinar. Download a PDF from our 2017 webinar here. View the recording: Part 1, Part 2. Check out our 2017 Investment Justification tips here and tips from JFNA here.  NEW
New Jersey presentation Want more? Check out this workshop presented by David Fields of the New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP).
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.
NY nonprofit grants webpage If you’ve never applied before, click here for New York’s nonprofit webpage, with the E-grant application. If you have an existing account (and remember the
username/password), you’re fine.
Risk assessment You can do conduct a self-assessment, have your local police do a crime prevention survey or get an independent professional. Find guidance and contacts here and JCRC-NY’s guide to security consultants here. There are some good self-assessment tools available. Check out:

Investment Justification Download the PDF of the 2017 Investment Justification here to see what the application looks like. Make sure to submit your information on the 2017 forms are released.
Threat scan Stymied by the “Risk” section of the Investment Justification? Download our Selective Threat Scan for documentation and help with the “Threat” and “Consequences” questions. You will need an assessment to identify your vulnerabilities.
NY State funding for nonprofit security. This year’s New York State budget included funding for “safety and security projects at nonpublic schools, community centers and day care facilities at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.” Obviously, the details are still pending.

Click here to subscribe to the JCRC-NY Security and Emergency Preparedness Alert list, which will notify you about the details when they become available.

For the most up-to-date info http://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants

Been waiting? Two security grants are coming soon

Posted on May 30, 2017
  1. We now expect FEMA will release the FY 2017 Nonprofit Security Grant Program guidelines next Friday, June 2nd to the states. New York’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has been working hard and they will have their Request for Applications (RFA) ready ASAP. However, they must have their documents approved through the various channels as required by NY State law. If all goes well the RFA will be available soon after the federal guidance.
  2. The application deadline in NY depends on the DHS/FEMA deadline. Remember, they have to score the applications and comply with federal guidelines for submission. That takes time, especially when they must process 200 or so applications. Please don’t contact us to ask about the due date… no one will know it before DHS/FEMA publishes their guidance. Expect a quick turnaround.
  3. The New York State Hate Crimes grant applications will be released within the same timeframe. As soon as we see the RFA we will publish additional materials to help qualified groups apply for that grant.
  4. NY applicants: If your Grants Gateway Document Vault is not prequalified (or well under way) you are running out of time. Organizations that are not prequalified will not be allowed to submit for the grants. If you previously prequalified, certain documents may need to be updated. Check your Document Vault to verify that it is up to date. Click here for more information.
Powerpoint presentation/video Download a PDF from our 2017 webinar here and view the recording: Part 1, Part 2
Organization type/Definition of Mission As many have learned, the grant guidelines make “Organization type” a factor in the scoring. Our attempts to formally change the guidelines language faltered during the change of administration. We were advised by House Homeland Security Chairman McCaul’s team  to neutralize this arbitrary scoring measurement self-identify as  “Ideology-based/Spiritual/Religious”. This would apply whether your organization is a religious corporation or simply religiously-affiliated (e.g., JCC, Jewish Family Service, etc.)
NY nonprofit grants webpage  Click here for New York’s nonprofit webpage. When available it will have the RFA (application package), all of the forms necessary for the submission of your application and  the E-grant application and tutorial. (If you have an existing account — and remember the
username/password — you don’t have to reapply.)
Risk assessment You can do conduct a self-assessment, have your local police do a crime prevention survey or get an independent professional. Find guidance and contacts
here and JCRC-NY’s guide to security consultants here. There are some good self-assessment tools available. Check out:

Many crime prevention surveys do not give the information necessary to complete the “Threat” section of the Investment Justification? Collect information specific to your organization (e.g., phone threats, graffiti) to document your threat and then  download our Selective Threat Scan for documentation and help with the “Threat” and “Consequences” questions.

Investment Justification Download the 2016 Investment Justification here to see what the application looks like. Make sure to submit your information on the 2017 forms are released.
For the most up-to-date info http://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants