In this community, partnerships between government bodies, private industry, non-governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and others play an important role in providing critical services to those in need, especially during an emergency. Maricopa County’s Community Organizations Active in Disaster group (COAD) is stepping up to provide support services to residents in coordination with Maricopa County’s efforts.
“These organizations are from public, private, faith-based and non-profit sectors,” said Robert Rowley, Director Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management. “Our COAD is new and this is the first time these organizations have activated and integrated into County Unified Command.”
The COAD’s member organizations work behind the scenes to coordinate logistics and delivery of services for those who are most vulnerable in our community. One of them stepped up to answer a call by the governor to provide information and resources to Arizonans who need it most.
At the request of Governor Doug Ducey, the Crisis Response Network activated a hotline on March 22 to provide information and resources to those in need. The bilingual hotline is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 2-1-1.
The hotline connects people throughout the state with local services, and for those of us living in Maricopa County, it connects individuals and families with organizations participating in the COAD.
“It’s natural for people to feel unsure and anxious in times like this,” said Justin Chase, President and CEO of Crisis Response Network. “We recommend people take breaks from social media and news because hearing repeated messages about the pandemic can take a toll. Reach out to the crisis hotline if you need help.”
Live-answer service in Spanish and English is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week. Trained specialists listen carefully to callers’ concerns and connect them to community resources as needed.
As of April 20, 2020, the line has received over 25,000 calls.
Emergency Management Director Rowley praised the work of this effort at a news conference earlier today. “This partnership is something our community should be proud of. It is about helping those in need and doing what it takes to care for each other.”
In addition to providing resources to individuals, business owners and managers can also call 2-1-1 to get information on what their businesses can do to support employees, customers, and staff, as well as resources that can support the business.
Justin Chase offered these other tips to those in the community who may be struggling:
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
For more information about resources in the community, visit www.arizonatogether.org or call 2-1-1.