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NJ 2-1-1 Newsletter - Summer 2019

Prediabetes-Your Wake-up Call

Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 yearsIn partnership with the NJ Department of Health, we’re trying to raise awareness for classes that will help people avoid or manage type 2 diabetes by asking callers if they would like more information on the topic. So far this year 7% of those asked have said “yes”. We wish it were more. Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death among adults in NJ and it also, if left untreated, can lead to all sorts of serious health problems, like stroke, heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and loss of toes, feet, or legs.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, accounts for 95% of those diagnosed with diabetes. Prior to acquiring type 2 diabetes a person often has prediabetes, a condition that is usually reversible by a change in lifestyle, eating habits and exercise routine. Amazingly enough, one in three Americans is prediabetic and 90% of those people don’t know it. 

Understanding the risk factors could alert you to take action. You could be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes if:

  • You are overweight
  • You are 45 years of age or older
  • Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes
  • You are physically active fewer than 3 times a week
  • You ever gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • You ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)

If you think you may be at risk for prediabetes, ask your doctor to do a screening test. A simple blood sugar test will inform you if you fall in that prediabetic range where your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. If you are told that you are prediabetic, dial 2-1-1. We will connect you with a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, one of the most effective ways to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. If that happens, they will have it for life. Listen to Mike's story and find out how he turned things around.

On Hand for Any Emergency

multi agency resource centerEmergencies erupt with little or no warning and come in all sizes. When they do, NJ 2-1-1 steps into action, working closely with state and local offices of emergency management (OEM) to efficiently communicate the needs being expressed by callers as well as share directives from local OEMs to ensure the public knows what resources are available and how they can be accessed. We had several such emergencies this summer.

In June, torrential downpours dumped over 5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period in the counties of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester causing significant flooding in certain areas. Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in response to the storm. Shelters were opened. NJ VOAD (New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) members were engaged. Families were rescued from floodwaters, roads were impassable, power outages were pervasive and personal property was seriously damaged or lost completely. NJ 2-1-1 was contacted by OEMs in the affected areas with a request to serve as the central repository for intake and referrals, a role we are well-equipped to play. We registered 294 households within five weeks. When the recovery phase of the emergency took hold and MARCs (Multi Agency Resource Centers) were opened to help those impacted by the storm, NJ 2-1-1 used its text messaging system to inform those registrants of the opening and encourage them to go for help. Read the thanks we received from local OEMs.

Thank you so much for your assistance with handling the flood assistance calls.  Your program helped on many levels.

The first thing that helped was the fact that any calls for help that went through our 911 operators were quickly vetted and routed to you. This stopped the calls coming into the EOC and allowed us to focus on our other duties. 

Next, your daily lists allowed us to discover areas of impact that were not necessarily initially reported to the municipalities.  I was able to forward the report to the local OEMs identifying residents who may have had emergent needs.

Third, about half of the people who came into the MARC reported that they did so because of the messaging that you sent.

Lastly,  your list allowed me to directly reach out to residents who appeared to be in need.  Many of them were physically unable to get here because they were evacuated out of their homes or had no vehicles.  We were able to help them my making phone referrals. 

Thank you again for your help.  

Phyllis Worrell 
Burlington County COAD 

NJ 2-1-1 was a big help with the MARC in Gloucester City. We had over 100 individuals and families attend and we were able to match many of them up with the lists you provided for Camden and Gloucester County. Those that came in that were not on your list, we guided them to do so. GCCOAD has set up a data base for our county to capture those seeking assistance that we will use moving forward and for any future disasters. 

A big thanks for contacting the residents that came through you that were impacted by the floods. Your efforts in doing so afforded us the opportunity to offer help to a large number of people.

Looking forward to your visit to Camp Salute on 17 July and the strengthening of our working relationship as a team. 


Paul Blackstock
People for People Foundation

In July, temperatures climbed above 85 degrees for 26 of the 31 days. Heat advisories and warnings are taken very seriously by many in our state as those who are most vulnerable can be dramatically impacted by excessive heat. That is why every year we post extensive listings of cooling sites that are opened in nearly every county of the state to offer respite to those residents who need a break from the heat. This year our site currently lists 357 locations. We shared requests for cooling centers and views of the cooling list with our NJ OEM partners. 

Lastly, lead contamination found in some water service lines in the Pequannock service area of Newark is another example of NJ 2-1-1’s ability to help residents find vital resources. Our web page Newark Water Crisis provides links to water distribution sites and discounted Lyft rides to obtain water. Our staff is educated about what resources are available. As response to this crisis changes, NJ 2-1-1 will be updating our web page and alerting our staff to bring those affected by the emergency, the most up-to-date information available.