The aftermath of August’s Hurricane Florence is currently affecting millions on the Southeast Coast.
Last year, the series of hurricanes and tropical storms that devastated southern states and Puerto Rico was the costliest on record, racking up over $280 billion dollars in damage.
In 2012, the High Park fire swept through our mountains, burning over 87,284 acres, while the 2013 floods, destroyed major roadways and damaged or destroyed hundreds of businesses and thousands of homes.
Whether across the country or in our own backyard, the widespread and comprehensive response needed in the wake of a natural disaster exemplifies the need for a general information and referral hotline that can direct both those in need, and those who want to help, to a wide variety of resources and opportunities. United Way’s 2-1-1 provides this resource in Larimer County and training for citizens so that each of us can be more prepared to help our families and our community when a disaster strikes.
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month and is a good time to think through your personal or business preparedness plan. 2-1-1 offers resources to help before a disaster strikes, and can help during disasters by providing the most current information about:
Someone received a new job but now needs to find child care
A family has become homeless and they don’t know where to go
A single father needs to learn about how custody works
A mother whose son may have autism but she does not have the insurance coverage for a formal diagnosis
Someone who needs a free program to complete their taxes
A DACA recipient who may need to reapply and needs to know how
2-1-1, however, is not only relevant during times of community-wide weather events. Each year, over 9,000 individuals call, text or email 2-1-1 from Larimer County in search of assistance. The needs most frequently requested include rental assistance, tax preparation and help with utility payments, but individuals also call for connections to help an aging parent stay in their home, to find a volunteer opportunity or to get assistance finding high-quality childcare for their child.
Whether a community-wide natural disaster, or a need for personal assistance or referrals, 2-1-1 is here to help all individuals and families in Larimer County. You can call 2-1-1 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During natural disasters the center may be open 24/7. Call, chat, or email the call center to have a trained call specialist assist you. Go to the database available on our website or download the cell phone app for Android or iPhone.