NJ 211 Summer Newsletter 2023
Our Dashboard is Available!
Photo: IT Project Coordinator Jingting Fei updates the NJ 211 Live Assistance Dashboard
The NJ 211 Live Assistance Dashboard is new and available to the public on our website. The data is from our callers when they contact us for assistance. The information collected helps our specialists identify the most appropriate resources. Our data tells an important story. Government entities, service organizations and advocates can unlock a wealth of information which can drive new legislation, programs and overall improvements. Innovative solutions and collaborations can develop. Whether creating new programs to combat social determinants of health or conducting data analysis to uncover patterns and trends, public dashboard data catalyzes positive change. Public dashboards also play a role in promoting data literacy among citizens. With easy-to-understand visualizations, complex data becomes accessible to a broader audience. This, in turn, encourages others to engage with data, interpret it critically, and develop a better understanding of societal issues. The NJ 211 dashboard offers information by client, demographics, needs, or referrals. Take a look!
Did You Know NJ 211 Participates in Disaster Preparedness Exercises Year-Round?
Photo: NJ Department of Human Services Director of Emergency Management Joseph Geleta presenting at the annual ESF6 Mass Care Meeting
Though the national hurricane season typically runs from June 1 through November 30, the peak potential for hurricane and tropical storm activity in New Jersey is approaching in mid-August and lasts through the end of October. Written into the state’s disaster plan, NJ 211 plays a specific role in mass care, public health and public information. We are perfectly positioned to respond during times of crisis. Executive Director Melissa Acree recently attended the New Jersey Department of Human Services Annual Emergency Support Function (ESF) Mass Care meeting to discuss our role and responsibilities with partner agencies. She also recently attended a tabletop training exercise on a potential mass fatality incident and shared, “Building relationships in advance, with local, state and national partners, is a critical component to our disaster plan.”
Learn how to prepare by visiting NJ 211 Tips for Emergency Preparedness.
Reminder! You can opt into ReadyNJ text messages by texting readynj to 898-211. Once opted in, you will receive disaster preparedness information, assistance registering special needs, alerts for emergencies, and connections to resources. Learn more at ReadyNJ.
Find Relief From the Heat!
As temperatures soar during hot summer months, the scorching heat can be incredibly challenging for vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness. Finding respite from extreme heat becomes a matter of survival. In response to this pressing issue, counties have been establishing cooling centers to offer relief for individuals during times of extreme heat. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Cooling centers serve as essential oases during heatwaves, providing a safe and cool environment for those in need. Our staff actively communicates with county officials and posts Code Red declarations and available cooling center locations on our NJ Cooling Centers webpage.
Annual Inform USA Conference
Photo: Executive Director Melissa Acree (left) and Program Manager David Mercado (right)
NJ 211 staff recently attended the Inform USA (formerly AIRS - Alliance of Information and Referral Systems) Discovery Conference in Orlando. Inform USA is the membership association for information and referral professionals and the driving force behind clear and consistent professional standards that benchmark every aspect of quality Information and referral. After attending several breakout sessions, Executive Director Melissa Acree is eager to share feedback with the rest of the NJ 211 team and added that “attending the conference allowed us to learn, network, and be inspired by the many I&R providers nationwide!”