National Examples of 211 as an Emergency Response System
In September 2008, Hurricane Ike caused significant rain in the Midwest over a period of days, which led to flooding along and around the river banks. In Illinois the amount of rain was considerable causing flash flood alerts all over the northeastern region and across Illinois. In a particularly hard-hit area, Wheaton (DuPage County) received 10.51 inches of rain in a two day period (Midwestern Regional Climate Center). Even rainfall near O'Hare International Airport amounted to 6.64 inches in one day, setting a record (Midwestern Regional Climate Center). This weather event is an example of when an entire region could benefit from an information and referral system like 211. For instance in New Orleans and in Corpus Christi, Texas, 211 assisted in evacuation procedures.
- New Orleans, LA – Hurricane Gustav, a tropical cyclone, was a potential threat to Louisiana especially around the gulf coast in late August 2008. On the day before the Hurricane was anticipated to hit inland, the Department of Social Services urged citizens to dial 211 if they were seeking shelter within Louisiana. (Hurricane Gustav Resources)
- Corpus Christi, TX- Hurricane Ike was a destructive tropical storm throughout the Caribbean, mainly in Cuba and Haiti, and also caused significant damage along the coast of Texas. 211 was utilized by the State as a way to assist in evacuating special needs residents, pets, and all other residents who dialed 211 to identify themselves (MSNBC).
Additional examples of 211 being used as an emergency response tool are below.
211 Service during the California Wildfires, October 2007
In late October 2007 twenty separate wildfires consumed the land, and six counties that were declared disaster areas in Southern California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura. As of October 29, 2007, the fires had burned 518,000 acres in the seven southern counties, or two percent of the counties' total land area, but 13.7% of San Diego County. 369,000 acres burned in San Diego County, accounting for 71.4 percent of the burned acreage in the counties eligible for federal aid. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
211 Service makes a difference