Disaster Services

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Benefits of 2-1-1 Before, During, and After a Disaster

  • Emergencies call for a central source of information where the public can turn to get or give help. 2-1-1 will be that place for our community.
  • 2-1-1 is a vital piece of the community safety infrastructure. In the event of a regional disaster, 2-1-1 will be mobilized as a central source for information on relief and recovery resources.
  • When disaster strikes, 2-1-1 will be there to connect you to information, relief and recovery resources. We’ll help you access essential information before, during, and after a natural disaster or terrorist attack, to answer your questions and provide a central place for updated information as conditions change. No more searching to find the number for the countless hotlines that spring up during a crisis. One call to 2-1-1 will connect you with a friendly voice and put you on the path to the information you need.
  • 2-1-1 simplifies access to emergency services by eliminating the need for people to struggle with hundreds of government and nonprofit telephone numbers.
  • 2-1-1 reduces 9-1-1 non-emergency call volume and unnecessary ambulance dispatches, allowing for faster response to life threatening emergencies, and also resulting in cost savings.
  • States like Arizona have included 2-1-1 services as a goal in Homeland Security plans since 2-1-1 complements emergency lines by freeing emergency workers to handle threats to life/property.

How Eden I&R Can Help Before a Disaster

  • Our Connections
    As a result of the agency’s role in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the 1991 Berkeley/Oakland Hills Firestorm, Eden I&R is recognized as a major link among disaster planning alliances locally and statewide.
    Eden I&R is a member of regional and local organizations, such as the NorCAL and Alameda County chapters of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), ALCO-EMA (Alameda County Emergency Manager’s Association), and EMADPC (Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness Council), among others. Eden I&R holds two seats at the Alameda County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during an activation.
  • Training
    Eden I&R, as an instrumental founding member of CARD – Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters, is able to offer CARD’s interactive, empowering, positive, and relevant preparedness curriculum. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of nonprofits and non-governmental agencies that act as trusted messengers for communities with special needs. See Disaster Preparedness Trainings for more details about training programs.

During a Disaster

  • DIAL 2-1-1 for Disaster Response Information & Referral
  • One Call For Help
    • During and after a disaster, people in impacted areas can call 2-1-1 to get current and accurate information about where to go, what to do, and how to help.
    • 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember, 3-digit telephone number people can call and get connected to a live operator.
    • Multi-lingual operators are equipped with the latest databases of essential health, housing, and human services information before, during, and after a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
    • This FREE service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Why call 2-1-1 instead of 9-1-1?

When disaster strikes, 9-1-1 is the number to call for life threatening situations requiring immediate attention. 2-1-1 is the number to call for critical information such as locations of emergency shelters, closed transportation routes, locations and hours of disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Information Available From 2-1-1 During a Disaster

  • Location of emergency shelters
  • Which freeways, roads and bridges are closed
  • Location and hours of disaster relief services
  • Where to find food and water
  • How to locate family and friends

Information Available From 2-1-1 After a Disaster

  • Where to find temporary housing
  • How to access other government resources
  • How to volunteer to help
  • How to make a donation
  • How to locate counseling and relief services

A Proven Approach – Specific examples of how 2-1-1 has Helped

  • We know that 2-1-1 works in a disaster. During the Katrina/Rita crisis, people in Mississippi had no central location to obtain vital information. By contrast, people in Louisiana and Texas called the 2-1-1 number for help.
  • In the days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Connecticut’s 2-1-1 system fielded calls from victims, their families, and worried members of the public seeking help for themselves and opportunities to help others. Callers who couldn’t get through to the Red Cross found answers at 2-1-1, which sent messengers on foot to get the latest news from the overwhelmed relief agencies. In Atlanta, where thousands of airline passengers were stranded when air traffic was grounded, 2-1-1 became the place to call and offer a room to weary travelers.
  • During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Monroe, LA 2-1-1 received 4,000-6,000 calls/day; & Texas 2-1-1 received 18,000 calls/day.
  • During the 2004 hurricanes, Florida’s 2-1-1 averaged 200 calls/hour; 5,000 calls/day.
  • In 2003, people in Toronto called 2-1-1 to get quick referrals and information about the SARS epidemic, relieving the Public Health Department of calls that could be referred elsewhere.
  • After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in Connecticut, which had 2-1-1, 95 percent of all calls for mental health counseling, volunteering, and other services went to 2-1-1. New York did not have 2-1-1 and 400 new information lines were created resulting in confusion and waste of resources.