Sikh Aid – UNITED SIKHS Blog Recognize The Human Race As One Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Help More People in 2016 Mon, 28 Dec 2015 15:38:30 +0000

Thanks to your support, 2015 was one of our best years in humanitarian aid. Together, we brought hope to the flooded alleys of Chennai, earthquake devastated Nepal and Pakistan, submerged Malaysia and to thousands of Syrian and other refugees arriving in Europe. Join us as we take a look back at some of our humanitarian highlights this year.

Click here to read more about the Pak-Afghan relief effort.

Click here to read more about the Refugee Relief effort.

Click here to read more about feeding the homeless in New York.

Click here to read more about the Nepal Earthquake relief effort.

Click here to read more about the Malaysia Flood relief effort.

Click here to read more about the Washington Wildfire relief effort.

Now is the time to begin preparing for the assistance that will be required of us in 2016. What you give today will determine how far we can go tomorrow.

Keep up to date on other UNITED SIKHS initiatives by following our social media accounts:Facebook | Twitter

Turn the Tables on Hunger: Donate to Feed Another 3 Million in 2016 Sun, 13 Dec 2015 16:36:06 +0000

UNITED SIKHS volunteers feed the homeless of New York every Sunday. Click here to learn more about our humanitarian aid work.

Dear Supporter,

Among our many goals, we at UNITED SIKHS aim to alleviate hunger globally. While nutrition is our first priority, we also strive to maintain cost efficiency so that we make the most of your generosity. This year, your support helped us provide over 3 MILLION* meals to people in need, from the marshes of Myanmar to the streets of New York.

$10 = 25 Meals

Your $10 will bring us closer to feeding another 3 million people in 2016. To receive updates and to view pictures, please visit our facebook page. With your contribution today, we will prepare to help the needy of tomorrow.

How many are you willing to feed?

Sincerely and in Chardi Kala,

Jatinder Singh

UNITED SIKHS Director (Sikh Aid)

*This number is a summation of food distribution in Chennai, India; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; New York, USA; Washington, USA; Canada; Malaysia and Panjab in 2015.

Pak-Afghan Earthquake Relief: UNITED SIKHS Provides Aid to 400 Families Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:19:17 +0000

Left: UNITED SIKHS distributing food package to affected families in Shangla, Pakistan. Right: Volunteers packing and preparing aid packages.

Peshawar, Pakistan:–On November 8th, 2015, UNITED SIKHS launched the Pak-Afghan Earthquake Relief Effort to provide aid and assistance to individuals affected by one of the strongest earthquakes the region has ever seen.

On October 26, 2015, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Afghanistan. Deadly tremors were felt in Pakistan, with the majority of victims from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province located in the northwestern region of the country. The death toll in Pakistan has reached 300, and more than 3,000 are injured. 74,885 houses and 497 schools have been damaged, and 29,162 houses completely destroyed.



Left: UNITED SIKHS volunteer Ravi Singh visiting the site of destroyed houses in Shangla. Right: Homeless children describing the quake that destroyed their home.

Click here for videos and photos of the Pak-Afghan Relief Effort.

Relief Effort Launched:

The relief effort began in the Shangla district of KPK, which is one of the districts most devastated by the earthquake. 50 individuals were killed in Shangla, and over 200 were injured. 22,000 houses and 143 schools were also either damaged or completely destroyed in this district. UNITED SIKHS has distributed 400 food packages to 400 families in this region.

By making a donation of $25.00, you can sponsor a aid package for a family. Each food package provides a family of six with two meals per individual for 10 days, with each meal costing $0.20. The packages contain the following items:

From the Ground:

“After traveling 12 hours by truck and 8 hours by flying coach van on Sunday, November 8, our team reached the Shangla district of KPK. During distribution, I met a family with two children whose home was completely destroyed and who were spending nights under the open sky and in cold weather. Upon receiving food aid from us, they were very pleased,” said Herdyal Singh, UNITED SIKHS Project Coordinator in Pakistan. He further added that relief work will expand to Afghanistan after security clearance.

UNITED SIKHS volunteers spoke to the Assistant Commissioner of Shangla, who stated, “First of all, I am thankful to UNITED SIKHS, who is providing relief aid to earthquake victims, where people are in dire need of emergency aid like food. I hope they continue to support our people. Shangla is a district of KPK which has been more affected than most in the KPK province. The people have taken shelter in camps, and some are living under the open sky and facing cold weather. We really need to come forward to help these people so that they can survive on their own in the future.”

UNITED SIKHS volunteers spoke to the Assistant Commissioner of Shangla, who stated, “First of all, I am thankful to UNITED SIKHS, who is providing relief aid to earthquake victims, where people are in dire need of emergency aid like food. I hope they continue to  support our people.  Shangla is a district of KPK which has been more affected than most in the KPK province. The people have taken shelter in camps, and some are living under the open sky and facing cold weather. We really need to come forward to help these people so that they can survive on their own in the future.”

UNITED SIKHS plans to distribute more relief packs to families in need in affected areas. Each pack will cost 2,000 Pakistani Rupees, or  USD 25.00, and will contain rice and other foodstuffs. Packages will be distributed in the Swat, Dir, and Bunner districts of  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan. Please donate today to help us provide aid to those in need.

Click here see UNITED SIKHS’ previous work in Pakistan.  Interviews of affected Pakistani families may be viewed here.

Keep up to date on UNITED SIKHS’ humanitarian work and our other initiatives by following our social media accounts: Facebook Twitter Blog

Hurricane Irene Update: Disaster Assistance Resource Guide Wed, 21 Sep 2011 14:36:27 +0000  Sep 201, New York, NY:  To help people locate assistance for needs caused by Hurricane Irene.  2-1-1 Adirondack Region is responsible for updating and distribution of the Disaster Assistance Resource Guide, Adirondack Region.  For up-to-date information on this guide, visit (updated daily). 


This resource guide is intended to help people locate assistance for needs caused by Hurricane Irene.  2-1-1 Adirondack Region is responsible for updating and distribution of this guide. All suggestions, corrections, and information on how to make this a better resource for both victims of disaster and helping organizations that serve them are welcomed and should be sent to 2-1-1 via Please note that this guide is organized by general services, by county, and in certain circumstances, by town or city.

 RECOVERY SERVICES: Programs & Agencies

 If you have been affected by Hurricane Irene in the Adirondack, please dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-774-0289 to find out what disaster related services are available in your area, 8 am – 8 pm, 365 days a year. In addition, 2-1-1 provides comprehensive information and referral services to the Adirondack Region or visit for up-to-date information.

American Red Cross Assistance

American Red Cross relief focuses on meeting the immediate emergency disaster-caused needs of individuals and families.

Adirondack Region (Clinton, Essex & Franklin): (518) 561-7280

American Red Cross National Hotline: (866)-GET-INFO (866-438-4636)

American Red Cross Blood Services: (800)-REDCROSS (800-733-2767) or visit



FEMA provides funding and assistance to local residents (renters and homeowners) and businesses who have sustained loss of or damage to property that is not covered by insurance. Contact your insurance company first: If you are NOT covered for the storm damage by your insurance company, you may be eligible for federal aid. You will need to obtain a letter from your insurance company saying you are not covered for damage from the storm.

The aid is available to citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens. Qualified aliens include those with legal permanent residence (shown by green cards). Their status will not be jeopardized by requesting disaster assistance.

A minor child who is a citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien can have a parent or guardian who is not eligible apply for assistance on the child’s behalf. No information will be gathered on the adult’s status.

The status of qualified alien includes:

ü     legal permanent residents (those with green cards),

ü     those with refugee or asylum status,

ü     those whose deportation has been withheld,

ü     those on parole into the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes,

ü     those with conditional entry,

ü     those who are Cuban-Haitian entrants,

ü     and those with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member.

The application for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires applicants to certify that they are either citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens. FEMA conducts random audits of applications to verify U.S. citizenship and qualified alien documentation issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. However, assistance can be given as long as someone in the household is entitled to it, and no information will be gathered regarding the status of others in the household.

 Individual Assistance (IA): Assistance to individuals and households which will allow them to file for federal assistance. Applications can be submitted by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or filing on-line by logging onto Hearing impaired individuals using TTY may call 1-800-462-7585.These phone lines are available from 7 AM to 10 PM seven days a week until further notice.

Counties eligible for Individual Assistance

  • Clinton
  • Essex


In addition, it is recommended to have the following information ready when applying for assistance:


  • Your Social Security number
  • Current and pre-disaster address.
  • A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.
  • Insurance information.
  • Directions to your damaged property.
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted.
  • Total household annual income
  • A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account).
  • After you’ve completed your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application number. Write down this number and keep it for future reference.

FEMA Assistance for Immigrant Families

FEMA helps the household, therefore if anyone in the household qualifies (a child born on the US, or a parent with a green card), then the family would qualify for help.

Post-Application Process:

If an inspection is required to process your application, an inspector will contact you to make an appointment to visit your property and assess the damage about 10 days after your application has been filed.

Within about 10 days of the inspector’s visit, you will receive a letter from FEMA informing you of the decision on your request for help. FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and an applicant’s guide that will answer many of your questions.

If you are eligible for help, the letter will be followed by a U.S. Treasury/State check or there will be a transfer of cash to your bank account. The letter will explain what the money can be used to pay for. You should use the money given to you as explained in the letter.

  • If you are not eligible for help, the letter will give the reason for the decision. You will be informed of your appeal rights in the letter from FEMA.

What to do if FEMA Assistance is denied:

A denial letter does not necessarily mean that an applicant is ineligible for assistance. It may mean that the information provided is incomplete. Make sure that clients have submitted sufficient documentation of identity, ownership and disaster damage. Complete and return the US Small Business Administration loan application. For information on how to appeal a denial letter go to

To Report False Damage Claims:

If you suspect someone is filing false damage claims please report it to (800) 323-8603

Public Assistance (PA): Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

Counties eligible for public Assistance

  • Essex

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HM): (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards): All counties in the State of New York are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.


FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers: Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open to assist individuals, households, and businesses affected by Tropical Storm Irene. Residents are encouraged to register with FEMA before visiting a center.

At the DRC visitors can expect to:

  • Receive information about different types of state and federal disaster assistance
  • Get help completing low interest loan applications from the US Small Business Administration for homeowners, businesses, and renters.
  • Inquire about the status of applications for federal assistance
  • Possibly receive referrals to agencies for unmet needs
  • Learn cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce the impact of future disasters.

Essex County: Town Hall, 11 School Street, Au Sable, NY 12912 from 8:00 am to 800 pm

Essex County: Moriah Fire Station, 630 Tarbell Hill Road, Moriah, NY 12960 from 8:00 am to 800 pm

Clinton County: Mooers Town Hall/Fire Station, 2508 Rt. 11, Mooers, NY, from 8:00 am to 800 pm (MOBILE)

Disaster Loans (SBA): Provides low interest loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery, and equipment, inventory, and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. Homeowners may be eligible to borrow up to $200,000 for real property.  Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 for replacement of disaster-damaged property.  Businesses may apply for up to $2 million for losses not fully covered by insurance.  SBA loans are made for the repair or replacement of real or personal property, transportation or rental of equipment to help with recovery, and economic loss.  The loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is October 31, 2011. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 31, 2012.

Counties eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA:

  • Essex

Counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans:

  • Clinton
  • Essex

NYS Insurance Claims: If you have homeowner’s insurance and sustained any damage, start collecting documents to support any claim. Flood damage is often not covered under many policies.The NYS Insurance department opened Hurricane Irene information hot line from 8 AM to 8 PM, 1-800-339-1759 or visit for more information.

Replacement Food Stamp Benefits

Food Stamp households that have lost food due to flooding and or power outages may be eligible for replacement food stamps, please contact NOEP (Nutrition Outreach and Education Program Coordinators:


contact NOEP (Nutrition Outreach and Education Program Coordinator) @ 518-436-8757 @112 or or by e-mail

Clinton, Essex, Franklin

New or Replacement Social Security Cards (SSI, SSD)

Anyone receiving Social Security payments (or SSI, SSD) that have been interrupted can go to any Social Security office to get an emergency payment. For information about changing mailing addresses, obtaining a new card, direct deposit or locating a nearby SS office, Call (800)772-1213.

Unemployment Assistance

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may be available for individuals, including the self-employed, who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by a natural disaster, man-made disaster or terrorist attack. Call 1-888-209-8124 and apply for DUA over the phone. The deadline for DUA applications is October 3, 2011.

Household Appliance Grant Program

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Offers an appliance grant program for New York state residents who sustained property damage due to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  The program will help cover the cost of replacing vital household appliances, such as refrigerators, boilers, hot water/heater tanks, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers, and furnaces damaged by flooding.  Purchase of appliances and equipment must be for replacement purposes only and were not covered by insurance or FEMA. To apply call 877-697-6278 or check website:


Boiler (ENERGY STAR):   $2500

Clothes Dryer w/Moisture Senor (Higher Efficiency):  $250

Dehumidifiers (ENERGY STAR): $100


Food Stamps:


In times of disaster it may become very difficult to obtain the resources needed to maintain a healthy and fulfilling diet for your family and yourself.  You may be eligible for Food Stamps.  Places to apply are:


Clinton Department of Social Services (518) 565-3300
Essex Department of Social Services (518) 873-3420
Franklin Department of Social Services (518) 481-1876

Food Stamp eligibility is based on income guidelines:

People in Household

Gross Monthly Income









Each Additional member




Medicaid  (Health Insurance):


In times of disaster it may become very difficult to obtain the resources needed for health insurance. You may be eligible for the Medicaid program.  Places to apply are:

Clinton Department of Social Services

(518) 565-3300

Essex Department of Social Services

(518) 873-3450

Franklin Department of Social Services

(518) 481-1876


Temporary Assistance from the Department of Social Services:


In a major disaster or large-scale emergency, you may qualify for temporary financial assistance to stabilize your current situation and begin to recover.  Places to apply are:

Clinton Department of Social Services

(518) 565-3300

Essex Department of Social Services

(518) 873-3420

Franklin Department of Social Services

(518) 481-1876


Suspension of Federal Student Loans:

If you live in a federally declared disaster area you may temporarily suspend federal student loan payments by contacting the following servicers:

  • Direct Loans – 800-848-0979
  • Federal Family Education Loans – 800-433-3243
  • All borrowers can also contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Program at 877-557-2575 for assistance


Tax Deductions


Property losses from natural disasters are tax-deductible. If you claim a casualty loss resulting from a disaster, you may be asked to show:

·         The kind of disaster and when it occurred

·         The damage that was a direct result of the disaster

·         Proof of ownership of the property

·         Your income tax basis in the property; this is the total value of your home (original cost plus cost of any improvements) minus any depreciation claimed for income tax purposes.

·         Fair market value before and after the disaster

·         Insurance benefits, free repairs, restoration, and cleanup from disaster relief agencies.

Before and after photographs, receipts, canceled checks, deeds, purchase contracts, and professional appraisals are good supporting evidence for casualty claims.  For more information, call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 or visit for forms and information on how to contact specific units.





Food: Food services are still available to those affected by the flood and volunteers-whether they live in Clinton or Essex County at the AuSable Forks Fire Department for breakfast lunch and dinner.  Serving times are 8 to 9am, noon to 2pm and 5 to 7pm.



Disaster Relief Funds: Assist eligible families with damages/loss incurred as a result of Hurricane Irene.  Items include Medication/Medical Care, Temporary Housing, Rent and Security Deposits, Household Goods/Furniture/Appliances, Food and Clothing, Utilities.

  • JCEO (Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties, Inc. 54 Margaret St, Plattsburgh, NY  12901 (518) 561-6310,  eligible families in Clinton County, Contact JCEO at 518-561-6310
  • Adirondack Community Action Programs, Inc, 4572 Court street Suite 2, PO Box 848, Elizabethtown, NY  12932 or 1-877-873-2979, eligible families in Essex County

Disaster Relief Funds to organizations: The United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. is offering mini grants to organizations that help individuals and families with disaster assistance. The disaster relief mini-grants are available to organizations providing direct service to individuals and families that have been affected by the recent disaster in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties.  Priority will be given to organizations providing services that address the unmet needs of storm victims. There are limited funds so it is important for organizations to exhaust all available resources before applying for monies.  The intention of the allotted funds is to provide a safety net for needs that are unmet by insurance agencies, government agencies, and other sources.


The mini-grants can be used for: supplies, repairs, housing expenses, transportation expenses, utility assistance and appliances, health and human service needs and other disaster related expenses.


The application for funds is available at the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. 45 Tom Miller Road Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Please call the United Way office at 518-563-0028 for more information or dial 2-1-1 for additional information and referrals.



Disaster Related Supplies


School Supplies: Town of Jay offers school supplies for children whose homes were damaged due to Hurricane Irene, (518) 647-2204



If you are fortunate enough not to have suffered major damage during Hurricane Irene and would like to help your neighbors through donations of items or monetary donations and or volunteering, contact the agencies listed below


Monetary Donations:


Town of Jay Irene Relief Fund-PO Box 730, AuSable Forks, NY  12912

United Way of the Adirondack Region Irene Relief Fund- Write to the Irene Relief Fund on check and mail to 45 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh, NY  12901


Volunteer Opportunities:


Kathy Daggett, Essex County Public Health Department, 132 Water st., PO Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY  12932 (518) 873-3514 or email
Town of Jay is match volunteers with homeowners in need of assistance with Hurricane Irene disaster cleanup, (518) 647-2204.
2-1-1 Adirondack Region for up-to-date information on agencies needing volunteers for special programs. Clinton, Essex, Franklin   Dial2-1-1or



Disaster Relief Training – to help for future emergencies:


American Red Cross National Hotline

(866) 438-4636

American Red Cross – Clinton, Essex & Franklin

(518) 561-7280


Donations of goods:


2-1-1 Adirondack Region for up-to-date information on agencies accepting donations of goods. Clinton, Essex, Franklin   Dial2-1-1or




Mud/Debris Removal and Flood Clean-up

A team of volunteers are available to come to your home to help you with storm damage clean up. Please register by calling dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-774-0289 and then 2-1-1 will complete the NYVOAD (New York Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) mud-out request form on your behalf. 2-1-1 cannot assure you the work will be done, as the team will have to assess the situation and determine whether it is something they can do.


Mold Clean-Up/Prevention

Learn more about clean up and prevention of mold at


Change of Address Form

Mail change of address forms are available online at or at any US Postal Service location. Please be sure to update any FEMA applications with newest address information.







2-1-1 Adirondack  – for comprehensive information & referral services, 8 am – 8 pm



Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York 100 Court Street

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 563-4022

One Work Source 194 US Oval, Plattsburgh, NY 12903

(518) 561-0430

Department of Social Services 13 Durkee Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 565-3300

National Alliance On Mental Illness of Champlain Valley 14 Healey Avenue, Suite D, Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 561-2685 ext 17

Veterans’ Service Agency – Clinton County 137 Margaret Street,Suite 106, Plattsburgh, NY, 12901

(518) 565-4720

Office for the Aging – Clinton County 135 Margaret Street, Suite 105

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 565-4620

Department of Planning – Clinton County 135 Margaret Street

Suite 124

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 565-4711

Department of Health – Clinton County 133 Margaret Street,

Suite 117

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 565-4840




2-1-1 Adirondack  – for comprehensive  information & referral services, 8 am – 8 pm



Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York 100 Court Street

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 563-4022

One Work Source 103 Hand Avenue, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

(518) 873-2341

Department of Social Services 7551 Court Street, Elizabethtown NY 12932

(518) 873-3420

Mental Health Association – Essex County 6096 NYS Route 9N, Westport, NY 12993

(518) 962-2077

Veterans’ Service Agency – Essex County 7551 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

(518) 873-3488

Motor Vehicle – Essex County 7559 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

(518) 873-3620

Office for the Aging – Essex County 132 Water St, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

(518) 873-3695

Department of Health – Essex County 132 Water St, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

(518) 873-3500





2-1-1 Adirondack  – for information & referral services, 8 am – 8 pm



Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York 100 Court Street

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 563-4022

One Work Source 158 Finney Blvd, Malone, NY 12953

(518) 481-5755

Department of Social Services 158 Finney blvd, Malone, NY 12953

(518) 481-5755

Mental Health Association – Franklin County 14415 State Route 30, Malone, NY 12953

(518) 521-3507

Veterans’ Service Agency – Franklin County 355 West Main Street, Suite 438, Malone, NY 12953

(518) 481-1540

Office for the Aging – Franklin County 125 Catherine Street, Malone, NY 12953

(518) 481-1526

Department of Health – Franklin County 136 Broadway, Saranac Lake, NY 12953

(518) 891-4471



Other NYS related services:


Child Abuse Hotline

(800) 342-3720

Equal EmploymentOpportunityCommission

(800) 669-4000

NYS Disability Program

(518) 474-6681

Occupational Safety of Health Admin (OSHA)

(800) 321-6742

Social Security Administration

(800) 772-1213

NYS Consumer Protection Board

(800) 697-1220

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Hurricane Irene Update: Disaster Assistance Guides Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:02:26 +0000 19th Sep 2011, New York, NY:  Attached are disaster assistance guides produced by local 2-1-1, New York State and the Long Island VOAD.  The guides outline resources and forms of assistance available to those impacted by recent storms.  They list numerous programs and services that many may not be aware of.   Please share these guides with the general public, community groups, local officials and any other stakeholders you think might be interested.  Help your clients receive the aid they need; please encourage all of your colleagues to print these guides and get them in the hands of disaster relief workers and those they serve.

 The guides and their future updates can be on the web at the following addresses:

Long Island:
Northeast New York:
Hudson Valley and Adirondack regions:
New York  State handbook:


Gurvinder Singh, Sikh Aid
1-888-243-1690 | 1-469-22206288


Hurricane Irene Update: Individual Assistance for Homeowners, renters and small businesses in the East Coast Tue, 13 Sep 2011 18:06:59 +0000  

New York, NY, Sep 12th, 2011: In the wake of Hurricane Irene, individual assistance is available for homeowners, renters and small businesses in Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties.  In addition, public assistance is available for NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with Hurricane Irene (DR 4020) in all 5 boroughs.


Individual Assistance:
Residents and small businesses in a total of 27 counties are now eligible to apply for the following assistance: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, USDA food coupons and distribution, USDA food commodities, Disaster Legal Services, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.


The counties currently eligible for individual assistance are as follows:


  •  Individual Assistance (Assistance to individuals and households): Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester counties.


Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.


Public Assistance:
On August 31, 2011, New York City received a Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Irene (DR 4020).  All five NYC counties were included in the declaration.  The next step will be an Applicant’s Briefing for all NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with the event.


The Applicant Briefings for New York City will take place on: 


Friday September 16th, 2011
NYC Office of Emergency Management
165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn


There will be two sessions
10:00am – 12:00pm
1:00pm – 3:00pm


The briefing will go over eligibility for applicants, facilities, types of work and costs


A representative from each agency should attend one of the briefings. 
To RSVP, email Mariel Diaz ( with the name(and session time) of each individual who will be attending


Following is a link to the form: “Request for Public Assistance”:  If possible please fill in the point of contact info and bring to the Applicant Briefing (each city agency will be an individual “applicant.”)  While applicants have 30 days to submit this form, FEMA would like to collect as many as possible up front.  After the Applicant Briefing, FEMA will contact each applicant to schedule a Kickoff Meeting.  This meeting is where FEMA will begin to work directly with that agency to identify damages and write up project worksheets to cover actual costs.  FEMA gives applicants 60 days from the kickoff meeting to identify all potential costs; however, the more prepared you are to present actual costs with supporting documentation the quicker and easier it will be.  If you have any questions, please write to Justin M. Lander (, (718) 422-8902).

Gurvinder Singh
888-243-1690 | 469-222-6288






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Hurricane Irene Update from NYC VOAD Mon, 29 Aug 2011 04:45:28 +0000 1. Approved Operational Transition Statement- American Red Cross

This is a statement issued by the American Red Cross of Greater New York containing operational information agreed upon between the American Red Cross and the New York City Office of Emergency Management regarding Coastal Storm Plan ongoing operations:

As Hurricane Irene has passed New York City, its effects our being felt throughout the region as it continues it path north. For this reason, in agreement with New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), American Red Cross staff and volunteers are encouraged to remain in their positions supporting the City’s Coastal Storm Plan until their respective shifts are completed today, August 28, 2011.

NYC OEM has released ARC staff and volunteers to address the ongoing recovery efforts in the New York region, where disaster effects are currently being assessed. These emergency response activities represent a critical human services needs of displaced and effected peoples in low-lying flooded areas.

This continually evolving scenario holds precedent for ARC/GNY to deploy all available Red Cross workers to New York State, Long Island, and to support regional needs.

The American Red Cross of Greater New York remains committed to support the Office of Emergency Management in all of its activities.

As of Monday, August 29, 2011, OEM releases ARC staffing needs from the Coastal Storm Plan.

All available Red Cross volunteers should make their staffing availability known to ARC DRO #772-12 Staff Service:
Local Community Volunteers, Tim Pitoniak,<>
All others, contact:
Staff Planning and Support, Stephanie Braganza,<>





2. Citywide Storm Data









Subject: Citywide Storm Data – 1500 Hrs

Current Wind Speed (MPH)

Central Park – W16 Gust 31


JFK – W 29 Gust 37


Trees Reports by Borough:



Trees Down, Split, Uprooted – 1075

Previous Update Totals – 985


By Boro-




Trees Down, Split, Uprooted – 59

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Diary entry of a UK Volunteer in Chile Sat, 15 May 2010 19:29:30 +0000 A few weeks ago UNITED SIKHS volunteers left London Heathrow Airport to help with humanitarian relief efforts in Chile. We have just received email below from volunteer Baljinder Kaur whose diary experience is blogged below.  Just days before leaving Baljinder was helping give hot meals (Langaar) at Heathrow airport when flights in UK and Europe were grounded by the Icelandic ash cloud.

It is with your support these humanitarian efforts can continue, please keep look out in coming days for more information and photos of work being carried out in Chile.

Hi all,

I`ve managed to find a hut/home which has internet access – and asked if I can use it in with the very few Spanish words we`ve learnt here from a young girl who teaches me Spanish.

We are very busy now with langaar and the distribution of the container- The container arrived on Sunday and we were really surprised with what Canadian UNITED SIKHS had packed! They packed almost everything we needed to start a langaar from scratch, for example they packed us matches, candles, UNITED SIKHS volunteer t-shirts. The amazing part of this is that these boxes in particular fell out of the container as soon as we opened the doors – otherwise there is no way we would have found them until much later.

The local ladies came yesterday to help peel the vegetables and prepare langaar and they will be coming again today – which is really good as we can cook more and they now also feel part of a community.

The distribution of food and clothes is going well – two of the volunteers take the food (cereal boxes, baby milk, rice, etc…) and drive to remote areas in a car. There is a lot to do here so we normally wake early in the morning and go to sleep very late at night.

The locals really enjoy us being here and are leaning alot about Sikhs. There is one local called Maximo who comes into the community centre where we have set up the langaar (and where we sleep) very drunk – he`s told us that something very bad happened to him and that’s why he now drinks – but he said since the earthquake-tsunami we (Sikhs) are now here so that’s something very good that has happened. However when he does come we try and feed him as much as possible and as each day goes by I actually think he comes less and less drunk – so perhaps us being here will change his life around as well.

Anyway I need to get back to the community centre – i have left both Gurpreets washing massive pots for tonight’s langaar.

I will most likely email next when get back to the UK.

Yours faithfully
Baljinder Kaur

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Helping Haiti – South Loop husband and wife lend a hand Thu, 25 Feb 2010 18:24:30 +0000



Baljinder Bathla learned of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while watching CNN in his South Loop townhouse the morning of Jan. 13, the day after the disaster struck the Caribbean nation.

As it happened, he and his wife, Sagina Hanjrah, both doctors, had been planning a trip in early 2010 to Ecuador to volunteer their medical skills in small village. But that trip had fallen through. So by the evening of the first day following the quake, as the extent of devastation was becoming clear, the husband and wife were discussing traveling to Haiti to pitch in.

They reached out to staffers from an organization called United Sikhs. Both practice the faith, and Hanjrah, a family doctor in Chicago, is medical director for the group. United Sikhs was planning its own efforts in Port-au-Prince. The couple decided to assemble a medical relief team to assist the earthquake’s injured survivors, working in Haiti from Feb. 1 through Feb. 8.

It wasn’t the first time Bathla and Hanjrah offered their skills in a disaster zone. The couple has made medically related volunteer work a regular part of their practice, including stints in Thailand following the 2004 tsunami and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hanjrah also worked in a tuberculosis clinic in India with several medical students of hers. Haiti was an obvious place to focus their efforts.

“Ideally it’s what you kind of want to do. I think everybody, when they start medical school, everybody has that in them that they want to do something,” said Bathla, a rehabilitation doctor with a practice near 16th and Indiana. “But we both are in specialties where we can kind of do that, we can get away a little bit.”

After making the decision to go, Bathla and Hanjrah began collecting medical supplies from colleagues, pharmacists and clinics, pulling together an estimated $45,000 in supplies. They gathered in New York with other volunteers, and then together flew to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. A 10-hour drive had them in Port-au-Prince.

And then the work began.

“I would see a lot of spinal cord injuries. I saw a lot of amputations. I saw a lot of fractures and so forth that had been repaired but people had moved on,” Bathla said.

“We saw a lot of people with wounds, a lot of colds. I had a lot of people living close to each other and so there was lots of diarrhea, a lot of stomach flus and things like that,” Hanjrah said. “Everybody getting sick.”

There were infections to deal with, too. Bathla worked with recent amputees, patients who needed help using their muscles to avoid a contracture, where a muscle becomes stuck in a particular position following surgery.

Dehydration was a constant problem. During their stay in Haiti, basics were still in short supply.

“We’d go to these little tents and people would immediately get right up to us, because they think we have food or water on us,” Bathla said.

Finding patients wasn’t a problem, tragically. Bathla and Hanjrah networked with nongovernmental organizations on the ground in Port-au-Prince, visiting the displaced persons camps that appeared following the quake. They passed out water purification tablets. They gave pregnant women birthing kits and administered Pedialyte, a rehydration medicine, to children.

Of the disaster zones where both have served, Hanjrah said Haiti was the worst off — a function, she said, of the county’s already existing troubles.

“In Haiti, everybody’s so poor. People are unemployed. There’s really poor infrastructure to begin with, and you’ve had this earthquake,” she said.

According to Bathla, there’s a huge need for tents. A rainy season would wash away the flimsy, improvised shelters survivors are calling home, presenting a new set of challenges just as the long recovery begins.

Bathla said he and his wife feel obligated to volunteer their abilities in disaster zones because of the immediacy of medicine.

“You have a skill set where you can go somewhere and you can do something right away. Especially when something like Haiti comes up, where there’s not a big medical establishment there,” he said. “It’s somewhere where you’re really needed, to help. I guess that’s kind of why we did it.”

He may travel back to Port-au-Prince this spring.


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Exclusive Pictures from 2nd Camp in Barbancourt, Haiti Sun, 21 Feb 2010 06:44:03 +0000 United Sikhs volunteers have continued the humanitarian relief work in Haiti.  Presented here are pictures from a camp held about 100 miles away from Port-au-Prince.  This camp was set up by Dharampal Sandhu, Tarlok Saggu and Raj Badwal and it served over 2000 people on daily basis.

[See image gallery at]

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