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Disaster Preparedness and Response

family preparing for disaster

NJ 211 plays several critical roles during times of emergency. These roles require that we are prepared to disseminate information and referrals to the public and share data with decision makers. 211 is the place to call, the place to view emerging information and resources and the source of important needs data.

A place to call
The 211 Service hotline is open 24/7 and during a disaster it transitions to begin providing critical information before a disaster such as evacuation routes, emergency kits and general preparation tips. During a disaster, information is shared to keep the public updated on safety at home, on the roads and in the community. After the disaster we are providing information and referrals for help with needs such as shelter, food, water, clean-up, FEMA registration and executive orders. Our caller’s needs are shared with the state for the purpose of identifying resource gaps.

A place to view information and resources
During a disaster, things can change very quickly. The latest emerging information and resources will be posted to a dedicated webpage which is updated in real-time. Information that is listed has been vetted. Most is received through the NJ Office of Emergency Management and their partners. NJ 211 participates in daily meetings to stay informed and share updates.

A source for important needs data
The data collected from our calls and website searches is used to produce reports for the NJ Office of Emergency Management and state officials. The reports provide data on the type of needs by location. This is helpful to identify what resources and support are needed and where.

ReadyNJ Messaging

Our motto is “Know it before you need it.” NJ 211 has an automated text messaging platform (ATMP) designed to help prepare New Jersey residents for emergencies and keep them informed when disaster strikes. It’s very easy to opt-in. Simply, text ReadyNJ to 898-211. When you opt-in, you will be asked a few questions. If you or a family member has special needs, you will also be advised to enroll in NJ Register Ready, New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for disaster planning. 

During non-emergency times, you will receive a monthly emergency preparedness tip via text. These are important things to do or know in advance of a disaster. However, should disaster strike, you may also begin to receive updates on the disaster. This include critical information regarding safety, evacuation, road closures, sheltering and more.

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