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United Way of Westchester and Putnam says area residents should add the free confidential Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 helpline to their list of critical phone numbers in anticipation of the pending weekend storm. United Way's 2-1-1 helpline offers one-call information and referrals to health and human services organizations most appropriate for their needs. Call specialists can communicate with callers in more than 200 languages. The line is available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. During times of disaster 2-1-1 can expand coverage to 24/7 if requested. 2-1-1 is the number to dial for information pertaining to shelters, evacuation routes, road closures, recovery services, power outages, donations, volunteer opportunities, and other disaster-related services. The helpline reduces caller anxiety by getting them connected to the right service providers while reducing non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 and taking the burden off frontline response agencies that people frequently call when they don't know where else to turn. United Way's 2-1-1 helpline was launched in 2005 as a collaborative effort of the United Ways of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties, and community and government partners. For more information, dial 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website: www.hudson211.org.
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