What Is 311? What Georgia Homeowners Should Know

What Is 311? What Georgia Homeowners Should Know

Georgia homeowners now have access to 311, but many residents don't know what it is, when to use it, or how dialing it can be helpful to them.

For Atlanta homeowners, dialing 311 is an alternative to calling the police for non-emergency situations.

Previously, the 311 line was used for reporting non-emergency issues like potholes or a forgotten trash pickup. However, the city announced that Atlanta residents can now call 311 (or 404-546-0311 if outside the city limits) to report community concerns related to mental health, substance use, or extreme poverty.

311 is a free, easy way to contact your government officials for non-emergency needs and services. There is no risk to you in calling it. You will not get in trouble for doing so even if you are reporting a crime or perhaps someone else's actions or inactions.

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What Is 311?

To make a referral for non-emergency concerns, simply dial 311.

311 is a hotline for Georgia residents to report non-emergency concerns and issues related to mental health, extreme poverty, homelessness, and public health. It is an excellent way to report things happening around your home or community that you want the authorities to take a closer look at and ensure everything is okay.

You can also use 311 to ask questions about your Georgia community. The key here is to use this phone number when you need information or have information to provide but do not want to tie up emergency lines. It's safe to use, and there is no cost.

What Happens if I Call It?

You will be connected with a trained representative when you call 311. This individual may ask for your name and what you are calling about before directing you to the proper reporting authorities. Other times, they will gather information from you and verify your information before contacting those organizations for you. For example, they can typically forward any concerns you have to local government offices, public service providers, and local utility companies. Their goal is often to help determine who should be responsible for addressing the concern.

Is 311 Available in Georgia?

Yes, it is available in most Georgia cities and is available in Atlanta from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. Your city may have different hours to call.

Reasons to Dial the 311 Non-Emergency Line

Do not use 311 for emergencies. 311 aims to reduce the number of phone calls made through the 911 emergency line. That way, they can quickly get through when someone has an emergency. If you need police, fire, or rescue services, call 911 for immediate help. If you have a non-emergency that still warrants contacting officials, call 311.

Here are some examples of when and why you should call this service:

  • Sidewalk problems: If a sidewalk is damaged or blocked, or otherwise a risk to those using it, report it to the city using 311. This includes any type of repairs that may be necessary to prevent injury.
  • Roadway problems: Report things like potholes or obstructions such as fallen power lines or trees after a storm. Your representatives can then forward that information to the service department to handle. Don't use it to call about an accident - call 911.
  • Noise complaints: You can look up the noise ordinances for your city on your city's website most of the time. If someone violates it, you can call 311 to report it. This could be noise from parties, dogs barking nonstop, or other concerns. This will ensure someone comes out to find out what is occurring.
  • Abandoned vehicles: If there is a vehicle that has been sitting in a parking lot or parked on your street for an extended period of time, report it. The city will check on or tow the vehicle if it violates its laws.
  • Traffic signals: If a traffic signal is not working or has bulbs out or no power, call 311. You can also report damaged roadway signs caused by vandalism.
  • Animal complaints: If there is an animal in your yard or a public park posing a threat or in need of help, you can use 311 to report it. A city official will send an animal warden to the property to find out what is happening and address the issue.
  • Vandalism: You can report vandalism and graffiti.
  • Hydrant or sewer problems: Backed-up sewers, sewers with missing manhole covers, or public drains that are not moving properly should be reported. You can also use it to report leaking or damaged hydrants.

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