NJ Opens Health Hotline for Businesses and Residents

New Jersey's Health and Senior Services Department has opened a call center to field questions about health concerns stemming from Tropical Storm Irene.

Experts will be on hand to provide information about how to prevent and treat mold, dispose of spoiled food as a result of power outages and determine whether water is safe to drink.

Acting Deputy Health Commissioner Tina Tan said the state recognized the need for a call center after the devastation of Hurricane Floyd back in September 1999.

"There's usually a lot of public health concern after such type of events," Dr. Tan said. "We wanted to make sure that the public had access to information that might be helpful as they approach their own recovery efforts."

Dr. Tan also said the call center will remain active, at least through the Labor Day weekend. "We will keep the operations open as long as we see that there's a continued need from the public for general health information," she said.

The call center was being staffed by health experts from the Department's Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health.

The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday, and during the weekend and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The number to call is: (866) 234-0964.