New Jersey's 2-1-1 System Clearinghouse for All Questions Regarding Haiti Relief Efforts
Trenton, NJ – In the spirit of service and community, New Jersey Departments are working together to provide coordinated assistance directed toward relief efforts in Haiti. These efforts include encouraging donations, providing assistance to the federal government on refugee resettlement, providing medical assistance to incoming repatriates and refugees and offering counseling for members of New Jersey's Haitian community.
NJ 2-1-1 is a public private partnership between United Way agencies throughout New Jersey and the State of New Jersey. Authorized and regulated by the NJ Board of Public Utilities, NJ 2-1-1 can provide disaster resources to callers by landline, cell phone and internet. Resource information is gathered through established networks so that all information provided to callers or web visitors is vetted and reliable. In cooperation with Senator Ron Rice, 2-1-1 is now the clearinghouse for all questions regarding New Jersey's Haiti relief efforts. NJ 2-1-1 can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone.
In addition to the actions of New Jersey state government, the first responder community has responded without hesitation to help those in need. Volunteers have deployed to Haiti from EMS, Fire, and Police, in addition to the New Jersey Disaster Medical Assistance Team 1 (NJDMAT-1) under federal authority, Cooper University Medical Center, Jersey City Medical Center, and Hackensack Medical Center medical staff who have deployed under Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) response.
A brief overview of the coordinate efforts across New Jersey government:
- The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Refugee and Immigrant Services is lead agency for repatriation, refugee services and emergency sheltering with assistance from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Health and Senior Services.
- The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is the lead agency for medical and public health support to repatriation/refugee operations in New Jersey.
- The NJROIC and NJOEM are monitoring the Haitian Humanitarian Relief Effort of US Citizens from the island of Haiti. The NJROIC is at operational level III.
- New Jersey Task Force (USAR Team) comprised of 80 individuals is available if requested and can assist in search, logistics, rescue, Hazmat, planning, medical, safety and support.
- New Jersey activated the State Emergency Repatriation Plan on January 14, 2010 in response to requests for humanitarian assistance for evacuees from Haiti. Activating the plan allowed NJ to assist 579 evacuees.
- The Department of Human Services (DHS) is coordinating assistance for Haitian Humanitarian Relief Effort of U.S. Citizens coming in from Haiti following the earthquake. McGuire and Newark airport have been the recipients of passengers for Haiti.
- DHS is staffing a 24-hour support center, coordinating air, rail and other travel with US HHS and the Red Cross for evacuees without resources. They are providing direct transportation through vehicles from New Lisbon development center, as well as some emergency financial assistance.
- The Division of Mental Health Services of DHS is deployed to provide counseling and assistance to members of the Haitian community in New Jersey.
- A New Jersey DMAT team comprised of 35 individuals were mobilized and deployed thru the direction of the US Health and Human Services on January 14, 2010.
- The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is coordinating with state and local agencies for medical screening and care of incoming repatriates/refugees. They are also coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health screenings.
- DHSS is also monitoring a request by US DHSS for medical volunteers in support of Haitian operations. These volunteers would be federalized and not under state authority if deployed.
- The NJ 4 Haiti efforts was initiated by our AmeriCorps program and is hosted by Jefferson Park Ministries, which is administered by the Haitian community in Elizabeth. This effort is in partnership with the United Way and other community agencies. Congressman Donald Payne
- The NJ Office of Emergency Management ( www.ready.nj.gov ) and www.volunteernewjersey.org, have updated their websites with key messages and links.
- The Governor's Office of Volunteerism is reaching out to the members of its Statewide Business Volunteer Council to convey messages about New Jersey's efforts and learn about any plans underway in the corporate sector.