The State of Texas has operated a Helpline service for over 50 years, according to David Jobe with United Way. A pilot project is underway to determine the number of people with special needs who might require assistance during weather evacuations. The United Way is working with the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management. Jobe says it's better to call now and register, rather than when a tropical storm or hurricane hits.
The data will help the Office of Emergency Management locate resources to provide assistance, according to OEM's Elliott Jennings. But the agencies cannot guarantee that everyone registered will be assisted, given the unpredictability of emergencies.
The 2-1-1 system continues accepting registrations for evacuation assistance, and the program could be expanded to other parts of the state.