Texas Mobilizes Hurricane Response
- State Offers Services in Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -
(Austin) - In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the State of Texas is offering a variety of services to assist citizens displaced as a result of the storm. Listed below are some of the actions taking place in the state and in Senate District Two.
2-1-1 Referral System
The 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Network, a statewide telecommunications network is providing 24/7 evacuation, sheltering and general information during the disaster.
Special telecommunications routing is established to enable the twenty-five 2-1-1 centers to function as a single call center, taking calls in a round-robin fashion to ensure that hurricane callers receive priority access to a call specialist.
Due to the uncertainty of cell phone access from providers outside of Texas, the 2-1-1 Texas system also implemented a toll-free number. The official Hurricane Evacuation number is 1-888-312-4567.
In addition to general information calls, the 2-1-1 Texas system is handling calls related to the following:
- Shelter location information,
- Information about access to available medical care, such as dialysis,
- Requests for food,
- Requests for prescription assistance,
- Requests for diapers and formula,
- Information related to accessing out of state Food Stamp benefits,
- Reassurance to evacuees unable to contact loved ones,
- Donation and volunteer information.
Emergency Services Program will provide water and ice to sites housing refugees.
HHSC will continue to contact retailers to request donations of food, ice, and water for staff and clients in local HHSC offices.
Long Term Care
DADS is coordinating the use of available nursing facility beds on an as needed basis. Several residents of Louisiana facilities already have relocated to Texas facilities.
Area Agencies on Aging are providing information on shelter and other assistance.
Louisiana officials will enroll Texas pharmacies as Louisiana providers, allowing Louisiana Medicaid recipients to access medications. Texas is broadcasting this information both through HHSC and the Texas Pharmacy Association.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are establishing public health centers (a.k.a. disaster hospitals) throughout the region.
HHS enterprise agencies have deployed medical personnel, and have additional personnel on standby to address health care needs.
Family and Protective Services
DFPS is expediting the issuance of a license for a residential treatment facility in Corpus Christi to serve children from a New Orleans facility with serious behavioral problems. 49 children from this facility currently are housed in a school gymnasium in Baton Rouge.
DFPS will assist providers in opening space in Day or Residential Care to displaced children. DFPS will actively monitor any placement in foster homes or facilities to ensure the safety of these children.
In addition to those actions being taken at the state level, Sen. Deuell's office has been contacted by several local entities as well.
In response to such widespread devastation, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) has issued an emergency gift of $100,000 to aid the relief efforts of local partner agencies The American Red Cross - Dallas Area Chapter and The Salvation Army - Greater Dallas Metroplex Area Command. Each agency will receive $50,000. UWMD is working in concert with American Red Cross and The Salvation Army to provide regular updates of how you can help at www.unitedwaydallas.org. You may contact the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas at 214-978-0000.
The American Red Cross and the Greenville Kiwanis are helping raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund. They will be accepting monetary donations Thurs and Friday.
Thursday Sept 1 8am-6pm Brookshire's parking lot.
Friday Sept 2 8am-6pm Crossroads Mall parking lot.
Those wanting more information can contact the Greenville Chamber at (903) 455-1510.
The Terrell Chamber or Commerce and the citizens of Terrell are feeding the hurricane victims that are staying in our area. If you would like to donate food, clothes, time or money please contact Wayne Babovec @ 214-334-5390 and he will coordinate this with the Terrell Chamber. You can also email Sarah Kegerris at Sarah@terrelltexas.com.
The Forney Chamber of Commerce is donating $1000.00 to the relief effort. We also know that the Forney Relief Fund (comprised of area churches) has also donated $1000.00. The American Red Cross can only help the people staying in their shelters.
The Terrell Chamber Relief Fund has set up a tent donated by U Rent It near the LaQuinta to feed the victims through Tuesday at this point. The meals are at noon and 6 p.m. if you can help cook or serve.
Sen. Deuell's office will continue to provide updates of the disaster-related activities throughout Texas and Senate District Two.