Governor Ned Lamont announced that as a winter storm approaches and wind chills are expected to drop into the single digits this evening, he is directing Connecticut’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be activated beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16 and lasting through 12:00 p.m. on Friday, December 18. This is the first time this season that the protocol will have been activated.
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.
“Being outdoors in these extreme cold conditions for extended periods is not safe, and we must spread the word that shelters are available throughout Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, call 2-1-1 and they will connect you with a nearby location.”
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.