How and when to use the Mass 2-1-1 call-in system

Last week I told you Southborough Selectmen voted to join the Mass 2-1-1 system as another way to disseminate information to residents. This week the Southborough Emergency Management Agency sent along more information on how and when to use the system. Keep reading.

As of May 18, 2011, residences of the Town of Southborough have another resource for obtaining emergency and limited non-emergency information when events and emergencies occur within the Town of Southborough and/or across the State.

The Mass 2-1-1 program is a statewide 24/7/365 informational call center. The system is commonly used to disseminate emergency & limited non-emergency information to the public through an automated phone system. Unlike the Town’s Reverse 9-1-1 system, Mass 2-1-1 is a call-in only system and does not automatically call out to phones when new messages are posted. Mass 2-1-1 will not replace R9-1-1, but offer another informational resource to the community.

Mass 2-1-1 can be used by anyone in the community to obtain information. Examples of information could include: extended road closures, significant water-main breaks, power outage time lines, location of shelters, request to shelter-in-place, status of emergencies, boil water orders and local health issues, etc. Additionally the system may be used to guide callers on where to acquire additional detailed information (i.e. Southborough websites, etc).

Two of the greatest benefits of Mass 2-1-1, is that any caller can obtain statewide information or that posted by any community in Massachusetts. For example, callers can obtain information regarding their home community while at work in another community. The other benefit is that the system will greatly reduce call volume into the Town’s 9-1-1 Communications Center, as the need to know information will be posted on Mass 2-1-1. The community is still advised to call 9-1-1 with any and all emergencies!

How to use the system (is simple):

  1. Access Mass 2-1-1 information by dialing “2-1-1” from any phone or online at www.mass211help.org.
  2. When access is made ask for the information you desire (i.e. Statewide, Southborough)
  3. If information has been posted by the State/Community that information will be relayed to you (verbatim).

To obtain more information regarding Mass 2-1-1, and the other services the system offers please visit www.Mass211.org. You many also contact Neal Aspesi at the Southborough Emergency Management Agency by phone or at naspesi@southboroughma.com.

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