Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as wind chill factors are expected to dip into the single digits or lower over the coming days, he is directing Connecticut’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be activated beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, and lasting through 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2021.
The protocol sets up a system for state agencies and municipalities to coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe conditions. United Way 2-1-1 operates as the point of contact for individuals who need shelter and transportation to shelters.
Anyone in need of shelter is urged to call 2-1-1 to get connected to these services. Protocols have been enacted at shelters throughout the state to adhere to the necessary COVID-19 safety measures.
“We’ve been lucky to have a relatively mild winter so far, but frigid temperatures and wind chills are coming our way over the next several days,” Governor Lamont said. “We need to spread the word to the most vulnerable in our communities that the conditions will become too dangerous to spend extended periods of time outdoors. Shelters are available throughout the state. If you know anyone who is in need of shelter, please call 2-1-1 and they will connect you to these services.”
While activated, the protocol enacts the following actions:
- The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security activates its WebEOC communications network, which is an internet-based system that enables local, regional, and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.
- The Department of Social Services, Department of Housing, and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, along with community-based providers, to provide transportation for people seeking shelter.