Wiregrass 211 Helps Alabama Storm Victims

The damage in North Alabama is extensive. Tornados have destroyed homes, businesses and roads. Now one organization is providing people the resources they need from hundreds of miles away.

They are reaching out to 2-1-1 connects Alabama for help.

It's a network of 24-hour call centers across the state. They provide information about resources for people in need.

The calls typically range from assistance with health care costs to job training, but operators are always ready to help during a disaster.

The 2-1-1 office in Tuscaloosa lost power during the storm. Now their calls are being re-routed to the Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1. They have access to the same information data base as the Tuscaloosa 2-1-1.

“You know, I’m amazed at how calm they are. Most of our calls have been debris removal. Or they’ve had trees call on power lines, their house, or their vehicle. We’ve also had people that needed food,” said Executive Director David Duke.

Phone operators fielded about 65 calls Tuesday, but Duke expects them to increase throughout the week.

“We can take so much off of the people that have boots on the ground because we can deal with people that need help. They can focus on getting that help to the people that need it most,” said Duke.
2-1-1 isn't only about helping people in need.

They can also direct those who want to donate their time or resources. Duke said by calling 2-1-1 operators can tell you exactly what help is needed.

State-wide 2-1-1 operators answered 1,100 calls for weather-related assistance Tuesday.


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