The LSU AgCenter recently established a toll-free phone system to help Louisiana citizens obtain information about recovering from the disasters and damages created by recent hurricanes.

The LSU AgCenter Disaster Recovery Hotline, which can be reached by dialing 866-573-0178, will provide callers with recorded answers to frequently asked questions concerning disaster recovery 24 hours a day. Callers also will have an option to speak with an LSU AgCenter agent during regular business hours.

Among the topics covered are how to avoid mold hazards and what to do about home and garden damage. Other topics include personal finances, food and water safety and issues related to fisheries, crops and livestock.

LSU AgCenter officials say the topics and the recorded messages will change over time to meet the needs expressed by callers.

“By establishing this toll-free hotline, we hope to be able to better connect citizens to valuable hurricane recovery information,” LSU AgCenter Chancellor William B. “Bill” Richardson said in announcing the new service. “We think this hotline will be particularly valuable where people still do not have Internet service because of damages from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

The hotline is open around the clock with recorded answers on some issues. For additional information, callers may speak to an LSU AgCenter faculty member from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Additional information on storm preparation and recovery is available on the LSU AgCenter's Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com <http://www.lsuagcenter.com.