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News Release

September 12, 2008

Contact: Peter Graves

OPM Extends Use of Toll-Free Hotline (1-800-307-8298) to Assist Federal Employees and Retirees Impacted by Hurricane Ike

Affected Individuals Can Call for Prompt Assistance

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Michael W. Hager today announced OPM would be activating its toll-free assistance hotline number (1-800-307-8298) for Federal employees and retirees residing in areas - including the southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts - expected to be impacted by Hurricane Ike.

The toll-free number will enable callers to leave their numbers for a call back within a short time frame. If the need arises, live operators will be on call to provide immediate assistance. The hotline offers information on emergency leave and pay flexibilities, as well as benefits.

"We stand together with those Federal employees and retirees who will suffer the full impact of this dangerous hurricane, and are ready to come to their aid when and where we can," Acting Director Hager said. "We are informing media outlets throughout the southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana coastal areas of this important toll-free number, and have asked agencies to help us spread the word."

Federal employees with access to the internet can receive updated and important information on benefits, flexibilities and payroll at www.opm.gov/hurricane/index.asp.

The site provides links to weather forecasts, general resources and announcements, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site, and is continually updated with news and information.

Shortly before the approach of Hurricane Gustav in late August, Acting Director Hager sent a memorandum to heads of executive departments and agencies regarding the various human resources flexibilities available to assist Federal agencies and employees affected by emergency situations. Topics include pay and leave benefits, employee and family support benefits, telework, emergency critical hiring and other flexibilities. The memo can be found at www.chcoc.gov/Transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalId=1500

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Our mission is to ensure the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.

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