Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as brutally frigid temperatures are expected to impact Connecticut over the next couple of days, he is directing the state’s severe cold weather protocol to be activated beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2022, and remaining in effect through 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. This is the first time the protocol has been enacted during the 2021-2022 winter season.
The purpose of the 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.
“While we’ve had relatively mild weather so far this winter, it looks like we are about to receive our first blast of freezing cold air beginning this evening,” Governor Lamont said. “Being outdoors in these arctic conditions for extended periods is not safe, and we must spread the word that shelters and warming centers are open all across Connecticut. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, call 2-1-1 and they will direct you to a nearby location and they can also provide transportation if necessary.”
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.