Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2-1-1 service: Emergency response we can all count on

For the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/07/2-1-1_service_emergency_respon.html

Published: Monday, July 19, 2010, 9:00 AM
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By J. Michael Schultz and Martin Taylor

Indelible images of gushing oil thousands of feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, along with crude-soaked birds and the anguish of shrimpers with dashed dreams have undoubtedly been in the thoughts of every American. But with our sadness for those in the Gulf comes a realization that all of our communities are vulnerable to disaster. To coordinate disaster and public health response efforts in Oregon, we would be well-served to create a statewide 2-1-1 system as a companion to crucial government services. With 2-1-1 legislation before Congress and a groundswell of nonprofit, foundation and government organizations working to bring 2-1-1 to counties throughout the state, now is the time to act.

Share Just as 9-1-1 connects callers with emergency services, 2-1-1 connects people to important human services, from private nonprofits to government and faith-based agencies. This easy-to-remember phone number saves time and frustration by eliminating the need for callers to navigate a maze of agencies and help lines.