Inside Savannah's 311 Call Center

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's the go-to agency whenever you have a question about Savannah City services, 311. The number has become very popular in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

But before you dial in, it's important to realize how the call center works.

I was surprised by the size of the call center. It wasn't what I expected, especially considering the volume of calls they get regularly and what they've been getting post-Hurricane Matthew.

"It is non-stop from eight to five."

Since Hurricane Matthew, the City of Savannah's 311 call center has taken about a thousand more calls than they normally do, which is typically around 5,000 a month.

"You know, our normal functionality is that we enter in service repair requests for City services. But we're also getting questions like, how do I get in touch with FEMA? How do I get in touch with CEMA? I need assistance for food. I need to get in touch with Georgia Power to address the power line," said City of Savannah 311 Supervisor Stacy Ferguson.

While 311 did get some backup with manpower during the hurricane and in the first few days following, they're back to their normal staff of, at the most, three people.

So when you do call in, keep that in mind, and be ready with as much information as possible and understand what 311 is here for.

"Understand that we enter the request here, but it is disseminated among our many departments of the City of Savannah. We will try to get as much information to them as we possibly can, but we are also reliant upon our other city staff," said Ferguson.

One important note, calling in isn't the only way for you to get your question in. On the city's website there's a 311 link, and once you click on it, you can fill out all the details on the form.

The 311 supervisor says the online requests are processed the exact same way as the calls.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.