Governor Ned Lamont today announced that due to a weather forecast indicating that Connecticut will experience extremely cold air and strong winds later this week, he is directing the state’s severe cold weather protocol to go into effect beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and remain in effect until 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Although Connecticut will experience relatively mild conditions for the first few days of this week, temperatures are expected to plummet starting on Thursday night, dipping into the mid-teens. The severe cold conditions will remain on Friday and Saturday, especially during the evening hours when temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits and possibly below zero degrees. Combined with sustained winds of around 20 miles per hour and gusts at times of around 30 miles per hour, the conditions outdoors will be severe during this period.
“Don’t be fooled by this mild weather that we are experiencing right now, because it looks like a blast of arctic air and winds will impact Connecticut later this week and this weekend,” Governor Lamont said. “With the kind of severe cold weather that is headed our way, frostbite can develop on exposed skin in under 30 minutes. Spending long periods of time outdoors in these conditions is not only harmful, it can be fatal. Shelters and warming centers are available across Connecticut. Anyone in need of a safe place to stay warm is urged to call 2-1-1 to get connected to a nearby location, and transportation can be provided if needed.”
The purpose of the Connecticut’s severe cold weather protocol is to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe cold conditions, which could be life threatening if exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. While enacted, a system is set up for state agencies and municipalities to coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to make sure that anyone in need can receive shelter from the outdoors, including transportation to shelters.
Anyone in need is urged to call 2-1-1 to get connected to these services. Safety measures have been enacted at shelters and warming centers throughout Connecticut to adhere to the needs of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The following actions are implemented while the protocol is enacted:
- The Connecticut 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 Connecticut Department of Social Services, Connecticut Department of Housing, and Connecticut 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.