October 19, 2005
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced today that Hurricane Rita evacuees who have medical conditions that could require special transportation arrangements for them to return home may call 1-888-312-4567 to arrange that transportation.
Calls to the toll-free number will be answered “2-1-1 Texas” by Texas Information and Referral Network operators. The service will accept calls from the evacuees or their representatives. Callers in Texas may dial 2-1-1 instead of the toll-free number.
DSHS officials said the service is for evacuees who are staying in homes, motels, hotels or other private locations and have medical needs that will require special medical transportation to return or special care on arrival.
Callers will be given instructions for completing the return process.
Evacuees who were moved from a hospital or nursing home along the coast to a hospital or nursing home in another part of the state or country should not call the service. Arrangements for the return of those patients and residents are being made by the individual hospitals and nursing homes.
Evacuees in shelters should check with shelter managers for information about returning.
General evacuees who left Southeast Texas via government-provided public transportation should call their home-area emergency operations center, or EOC, for return information. EOC phone numbers are available from the 2-1-1 service.
(News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)