Disaster Preparedness and Response
211 LA County partners directly with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as the designated provider of interactive disaster information services to the community before, during, and after disaster events. 211 LA County responds by providing timely and accurate information for members of the community. 211 LA also partners with the LA County Department of Public Health as distributor of Public Health issued advisories and warnings.
To ensure maximum accessibility to disaster information during large scale events, 211 LA County partners with private and nonprofit volunteer organizations for call handling assistance. As a founding member of 211 California and the National 211 Disaster Support Collective, 211 LA is active in county, state, and national disaster response through its collaborative efforts with these 211 partners.
Disaster Event Role
211 LA provides real-time trend analysis and needs assessment (Unmet Needs) for Emergency Managers along with the identification of long term recovery resources. 211 LA coordinates with LA County OEM in providing Rumor Control by documenting disaster related rumors among the population and assisting in dispelling the rumors as quickly as possible.
211 LA identifies and documents long term recovery resources available for individuals affected by a disaster. During disaster events, 211 LA will continue to serve the most vulnerable populations, particularly those with disabilities
211 LA relieves pressure on 911 and other first responder phone systems by providing an established number for individuals to call for non-life threatening situational information, particularly incident status, evacuation routes, road closures, shelter locations, and status updates of area reoccupations. 211 LA plays a significant role in disaster recovery by providing information and referrals to individuals for nonprofit and faith based agencies who offer long term assistance to disaster affected populations.
Past Disaster Event Response & Recovery
2013: Coordinated distribution of LA County Department of Public Health vaccination clinic locations providing Hepatitis A vaccines for consumers of contaminated, frozen mixed berries supplied by stores throughout the Western U.S. 211 LA generated reports on caller’s concerns and clinic location inquiries which Public Health used for clinic logistical planning.
2012: Hurricane Sandy. Provided overflow call assistance for the state of Vermont 211.
2011: Severe Wind Storm. LA County Office of Emergency Management designated 211 LA as the public’s phone intake source to gather individual residence storm related damages and provide data collection reports to the county. 211 LA reports were utilized in preliminary damage assessment surveys submitted to State and Federal emergency management agencies. See link in sidebar titled “2011 Wind Storms After Action Report” for more information.
2011: Coordinated efforts with all coastal area 211s for the 2011 Japan Tsunami Advisory for the California coast. Provided damage reports and advisory updates for 211s throughout California and for residents of LA County.
2011: Hurricane Irene. Provided overflow call assistance for the New York and Vermont 211s by taking disaster calls and also serving as the hub for transferring additional calls to San Diego and Portland 211s.
2011: Coordinated the dispersal of Department of Health information related to the public’s concern over the Japanese Nuclear incident and the possible radiation cloud over Los Angeles County. 211 LA provided residents with information on iodine usage and current monitoring activities for the region.
April 2009 to June 2010: H1N1 Flu Virus response. LA County Public Health designated 211 LA as the public information resource for questions about H1N1. Answered over 24,000 English language calls and 9,000 Spanish language calls.
2010: Handled calls concerning evacuation and disaster assistance for the Crown wildfire.
2009: Handled calls concerning evacuation, disaster assistance, and the resulting mudflow warnings for the Station Fire. Staffed Local Assistance Centers established after the fires.
2008: Handled evacuation and disaster assistance calls for both the Sayre and Marek fires and staffed the Local Assistance Centers established during the recovery phase of the fires.
2008: Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Assisted Louisiana 211 call centers by answering and routing over 12,000 disaster information overflow calls to several 211s located throughout California. 211 LA served as the telecommunications hub for routing all incoming calls. See link in sidebar titled “Hurricane Gustav Press Release,” for full details.
2007: Southern California communities experienced first-hand the role 211 can play during a disaster. Twenty separate wildfires consumed large parts of six Southern California counties. In all, more than 500,000 people would be evacuated from homes in San Diego County alone. Information about evacuations, shelters, and road closures changed by the minute. 211 LA provided information to not only LA County residents, but also partnered with 211 San Diego to coordinate disaster resource information for residents of San Diego County also. See link in sidebar titled “Trial by Fire Report” for full report.