The Polk County Sheriff's Office is asking area residents to call 2-1-1 if they have unmet needs related to recent storms, or if they are available to work on a crew this weekend.

Residents with unmet needs:

Polk County residents that need assistance with removal of downed trees and debris should call 2-1-1 to be put on a list.   Residents must have already contacted their home insurance agent and know what aid they will be receiving and what work volunteers can do.

When calling 2-1-1, residents should immediately tell the operator that they are from Polk County Wisconsin and are in need of assistance with debris removal.   The operator will ask name, address, contact information, primary or vacation home, and a description of what is needed.

Volunteer Assistance


This weekend, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday – July 26-28, we will be opening a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at Unity High School.  At the VRC,  starting at 8am daily, volunteers will be registered and assigned to work projects. Work crews will be formed and work under the direction of qualified personnel.  Volunteers should be in good physical shape and call 2-1-1 and indicate their availability.    Please plan on bringing long pants, solid footwear (boots preferred), gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, bug spray, and sun protection. 

Volunteers experienced with chainsaws are encouraged to bring them along with appropriate personal safety equipment including chaps, helmet, eye protection and ear protection and be self-sufficient.  Chainsaw operators will be selected based on capabilities and need.

 At the VRC, rules for registration will include:

  • Participants must produce a driver’s license or other valid picture ID.
  • Participants may not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Minors will only be permitted if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • No pets will be permitted.
  • Do not sign up for a particular job if it will be too physically challenging.

You must register and report to the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at Unity High School.  The address for Unity High School is 1908 WI-46, Balsam Lake, WI 54810, located north of Balsam Lake, Polk County, Wisconsin.   The VRC will be accepting volunteers daily between 8am and 4pm.

If you have questions or concerns, please email or call 715-485-9280.  All Media requests should be directed to Sheriff Brent Waak via e-mail at or by phone at 715-485-8332.

Donations from the public are not being requested. Those who wish to donate should contact the Red Cross or Salvation Army.

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