911-like service expanded to East Texas

Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams
Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English.
Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It became quite evident during the latest hurricanes changes were needed to better accommodate families with special needs. A service called "211 Texas" was expanded.

The Williams home is filled with those who care for children.

"Four foster children, two adoptive," said Sharon Williams.

All of them have special needs. Specialized equipment is their lifeline.

"Without all this equipment he could die," said the mother.

Something the Williams feared during Hurricane Ike. They lived in one room with one generator-operated air conditioner. Pleas for help were answered by recorded messages.

"You get into a situation like we've been in, this, you call for help, you don't find it," said Mike Williams, the father.

To ease the frustration the state expanded Texas 211. Individuals and families with special needs are asked to register now so local officials will know who they are, where they live and what their specific needs could be.

"We have this database and we know who's out there. We do realize there are people out there that they need help in times of a disaster," said Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English.

The Williams are cautiously optimistic about the 211 plan.

"If 211 is going to help us get what we need then I think will be a great thing. But it's still, 'is the system going to work?'" said the father.

Promoters say it will work only if people will register with 211. Something the Williams say they'll do for the sake of the children.

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