2-1-1WNY is continuing to provide information, referral and answers for victims of superstorm Sandy in Long Island and the Hudson Valley Region.
Information and referral specialists in Buffalo and Batavia are answering all calls to the 211 helpline serving the Hudson Valley Region and Long Island from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. and providing overflow support during the day. To date 2-1-1WNY contact centers have connected more than 700 Hurricane Sandy victims to basic, including food, clothing, shelter, water and dry ice, as well as providing estimates on power restoration and information about road closures and transportation updates.
During severe weather or other crises, 911 operators are often overwhelmed with calls from citizens needing information or non-critical services. Calling 211 instead of 911 in non-emergency situations, where health or safety is not in danger, can help ensure that first responders are available when and where they are most needed. The need for information and referral continues as disasters move into the recovery phase, providing a resource for victims to navigate the services available to them and helping them from becoming overwhelmed with their situation.
2-1-1WNY, a United Way-funded program of the Olmsted Center for Sight, provides residents information and referrals to health and human services in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Wyoming counties.
Anyone with questions or non-emergency issues should keep one easy-to-remember phone number in mind: 211. Individuals in those counties can reach 2-1-1WNY by simply dialing 211 or 888-696-9211. Trained 211 specialists will provide information on more than 5,000 services available in Western New York. Those with Internet access can access information via the 211 website, 211wny.org, which includes a searchable database that covers 211's service area.