2-1-1 Receives Spike in Calls After Storms

by WHIZ Reporter on July 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

The Southeast Ohio 2-1-1 Call Center saw a spike in calls as a result of the severe storms that moved through the area nearly two weeks ago.

In just one day, the center fielded over 220 calls, nearly quadrupling their normal daily call volume.

Center Manager Audrey Foster said the calls keep coming in.

"A lot of people needing a lot of services, and you know there are things available out there even to help with food, because we’ve had a lot of food calls," said Foster.  "Food was ruined, the refrigerators or freezers went down."

Foster said food assistance is still available through Job and Family Services for families and children that meet income guidelines.

Cooling centers are also still opened around the area and Foster said those who call 2-1-1 can get an updated list of those locations.

During the storms, emergency dispatchers were urging the public to call 2-1-1 for non emergencies and according to Foster, the reason is to make sure that the lines remain clear for fire, police or medical emergency calls.

"Our thing is a partnership with all these agencies, including 9-1-1, because we have to clear their lines for their emergencies and they’ve got plenty of them going on," said Foster.  "They need to call 2-1-1 because we can help to get them to the right place."

Since the June 29th storms, the call center has fielded about 1000 total calls for referral and assistance.