2-1-1 relieves pressure on 9-1-1 and emergency response teams by providing an easy to remember telephone number for non-emergency needs. This frees up emergency responders to deal with real emergencies.

Examples of how 2-1-1 provides assistance in non-emergency situations include:  

  • Information on Evacuations such as Traffic Closures/Alternative Routes;
  • Emergency Shelter/Housing;
  • Food Assistance;
  • Social Services;
  • Family Reunification and;
  • School/Work Closures

2-1-1 also serves as the central point to to call for updated public health and safety information. During the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, many Californians dialed 2-1-1 to get a better understanding of its contagiousness and identify steps to protect themselves. Police and first responders often dial 2-1-1 to help domestic abuse victims find safe emergency shelter, and social workers often provide clients information on substance abuse, marriage/family counseling, job training resources and more. 2-1-1 also connects parents to a variety of critical programs including preschool, parenting classes, and after-school problems. 

“The 2-1-1 service was an invaluable resource during the [2007 San Diego wildfires] in that it freed up calls from 9-1-1. We could give information on repopulated neighborhoods to the 2-1-1 operators. We saw 9-1-1 calls diminish over time because of that.” 

-- San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore

2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people across
North America find the local resources they need. We’re here for you
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.