Emergency Management – 211 Role in Emergency Response and Recovery

April 15, 2021
Posted in: 211

Municipalities and communities have the safety and well-being of their residents as a primary consideration every day and during emergencies. 211 can reduce the load on municipalities and help them focus their resources in ways that they are uniquely equipped to do. Being able to get relevant and accurate information to the public and respond to public concerns is a priority.

  • For emergency responders and municipal managers, 211 provides a channel for authoritative information to the public about anything relevant to the emergency that does not require police, fire or ambulance, such as the location of emergency shelters, where to get basic supplies and how to donate goods. This helps to alleviate the non-emergency calls that go to 911 and other municipal phone lines.
  • In addition to the public inquiry role, the database skills of 211 staff include the capability to develop disaster databases of emerging information as required.
  • A further key capability of 211 service is call tracking and reporting on trends in caller needs and gaps in service.

Municipal Protocols

A communications protocol between a municipality and 211 is important: (a) mutual notification information; (b) agreed upon activation procedures and (c) ongoing two-way communication processes e.g. municipalities share media releases and other information with 211 as the situation changes and direct the public to call 211 for non-emergency information. Municipal Emergency Information Officers are the key providers of information that the public needs in an accurate and timely way, so having effective lines of communication are important.

If you are a municipal/regional emergency professional, please use the form below to provide 211 with information about a community event that you have become aware of or if you wish to activate 211 for emergency support. Some examples of events are road closures, large scale accidents, or weather-related issues such as flooding or ice storms to name a few.

211 Community Emergency/Incident Notification Form