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Have RNC questions? Tampa sets up 24/7 hotline for answers

4:47 PM, Aug 20, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- With just days to go before the start of the Republican National Convention, many people are still confused, concerned, or have a lot of questions about the event.

Tampa city leaders hope to provide all the answers by establishing a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week free hotline.

Brian Lampe, who lives in downtown Tampa, says he hears from plenty of people who think convention week will be chaos.

"I think a lot of people are confused.  I think a lot of people don't know what's going on," he said.

On Monday morning, the RNC Call Center launched from inside the city of Tampa Emergency Operations Center.

About 70 city staff members will work shifts around the clock to provide residents and visitors with any information they may need... everything from road closures to restaurant information.

"We want this city to be as user-friendly as we can possibly be," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "We wanted to do this, because we have learned from other cities that often times there's a flood of misinformation."

While much of the information and maps with road closures is available online now, some things could change by the hour during the convention.

Operators will get those updates and be ready to answer any questions.

"Not everyone is going to stay on the parade route.  Not everyone is going to stay in the viewing area.  We are prepared for that.  We expect that to happen.  We expect spontaneous demonstrations to pop up," Buckhorn explained.

City leaders expect to take thousands of calls before the hotline shuts down on August 31, the day after the RNC.

"I think information is always the key," Lampe said.

The hotline number is 1-866-762-8687.

Buckhorn also added the city plans to send extensive updates through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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