Wind storms and back-to-school needs pushed 2-1-1 requests higher in America’s heartland last month. Examining 27 states in a daily tracking system, Minnesota (+24%) and Iowa (+23%) saw the largest July-to-August increases in requests. Overall requests also increased in Kentucky (+13%), South Dakota (+11), Hawaii (+10%), Maine, Massachusetts and Missouri (all 6%). A closer look at Iowa and Minnesota showed that disaster-related calls accounted for much of the increase. In Iowa, for example, a derecho – a straight line wind storm – left major damage across the state on August 10-11. As the chart (below, left) shows, disaster requests to 2-1-1 in August (orange bar) outnumbered July disaster requests (blue bar) by over 3,000. Disaster requests in Minnesota were also higher, by almost 500. Education requests (below, middle) were higher in both states in August, as were utility requests (below, right). Mouse over each bar for each state to see the number of requests for each type of need. Analyses compared requests received July 1 – July 31 to August 1 – August 31. States included: AL, AR, AZ, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, PA, SC, SD, VA, WA, WI and WY. States with partial coverage by the tracking system were excluded from analysis.
Contributors: Cindy Charles, Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Matthew Kreuter