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Pa. Sets Up Hotline For Residents In Distress Due To Storm

(File photo.  Credit: CBS3)

(File photo. Credit: CBS3)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania officials have established a toll-free hotline for residents who may be having difficulty coping with the stress of the storm aftermath.

Welfare Department spokeswoman Kait Gillis says trained professionals are staffing the hotline to offer emotional support to callers in distress.

“All the calls are confidential. And the counselors will be able to provide any information that they could need on recognizing the stress and tips for healthy coping mechanisms.”

Some of the signs include, “They’re sleeping too much or too little. Some of the physical symptoms could be a stomach ache, a headache, people may be feeling guilty, they don’t know why.”

The hotline is, however, not for folks who need other kinds of storm relief, such as supplies, equipment or logistical assistance related to their situation.

“So, this is something we would like people to contact if they’re experiencing distress. This is not a phone number for people to call if they’re looking for assistance with getting water or other materials.”

The number for the Pennsylvania disaster distress hotline is 1-800-985-5990. The TTY number for deaf or hearing impaired individuals is 1-800-846-8517. Help is also available by texting 66746.

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