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HeartLine 211 call center ready to help people in storm trouble

BY AARON CRESPO Modified: January 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm •  Published: January 28, 2010

Employees at the HeartLine call center were not especially busy this morning, but call center employees are prepared for the call volume to increase as the winter storm continues.

"We are anticipating an increase in calls due to the storm. It usually happens after the power starts going out. Normal call volume today so far, no one is experiencing problems, knock on wood," Tom Taylor, director of development for the call center, said about 2:30 p.m.

Taylor said workers at the 211 line have more than 3,000 resources in a nine-county area available to get people the help they need. Taylor said they're working with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management to assist people and can help people get in touch with utilities companies.

The 211 line connects people to health or human services needs and responds to a community crisis, which can be weather, Taylor said.

Taylor said no shelters have been set up, but they're ready to do so depending on the weather.

"We are encouraging everyone to shelter at home so if their power does go out, you make sure that they are well-stocked and well-provided," Taylor said.

Taylor said having the hot line makes it easier for people to get help as opposed to trying to find numbers for utilities and other assistance groups on their own.

"All they have to remember is 211," Taylor said. "Wherever they are in the state in Oklahoma, they can reach 211."

HeartLine is a United Way Partner agency. In addition to suicide and gambling prevention hot lines, workers answer the phone for the state 211 line.


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