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Disaster Relief Content

Imagine midnight. Snow covers every surface and continues to fall. Ice weighs heavily on the trees, power lines and roofs. It is a February ice storm in Texas. Every window is dark at the income assisted living facility. The electricity failed four hours earlier. The residents are alone in the darkness, cold and hungry, portable oxygen tanks are running low. The facility manager called 2-1-1 and explained the situation to the 2-1-1 call specialist. It was her final desperate effort to get help for the fragile people in her care. Those with family were picked up, but many have no one to lend a hand. "Can’t anyone help them?" she pleaded. The 2-1-1 call specialist called on the 2-1-1 disaster manager. Soon, shelter was established, transportation arranged and twenty-four fragile elderly spent that night safe, warm and out of the cold.

2-1-1 Texas plays a key role in the response to the natural and man-made disasters in Texas. 2-1-1 Texas most recently assisted first responders with Hurricane Alex and the oil spill disaster in the Gulf. 2-1-1 connects callers with critical disaster services and volunteer and donation opportunities. 2-1-1:

• Provides information and referral (I&R) for residents, survivors, donors and volunteers.
• Provides special tracking and/or coaching for donations and volunteers
• Assists with rumor control
• Provides telephone crisis intervention, comfort and assurance.
• Maintains quality database of human service programs, and regularly posted updated “tips” and resources
• Provides call-taking through skilled I&R Specialists. Note that 2-1-1 Texas utilizes a statewide emergency operations plan to ensure continuity of service by re-routing calls to unaffected areas or distributing calls to other Centers when volume spikes.
• Coordinates services with government and community-based and faith-based organizations. 2-1-1 Texas has formal relationships with other volunteer organizations and an established role within the State Emergency Support Functions.

Quotations from Emergency Responders
2-1-1 US

2-1-1: A Critical Tool In Times of Disasters
United Way of America
 

Vaule of 2-1-1 in Disaters
New York Times

Calling 211: Enhancing the Washington Region’s Safety Net After 9/11
Brookings Institute Report

After The Storms
2-1-1 US

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