In anticipation of temperatures over the next couple of days that are forecast to be bitter cold with negative wind chill factors at times, Gov. Dannel Malloy has activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol beginning today, Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Friday morning.
This is the first time this season that the protocol has been enacted.
“Winter weather conditions are coming to Connecticut early this year, and the next couple of nights are expected to be brutally cold,” Malloy said. “It is a priority that anyone in need receives protection from the bitter conditions, and this protocol initiates a series of procedures to ensure that shelters are available and transportation is provided to help bring people indoors. Especially over this Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful all of the people whose efforts will help the most vulnerable in our communities.”
A strong cold font is forecast to move across the state this afternoon, with temperatures anticipated to start rapidly dropping in the evening. Lows tonight are expected to be near 10° F with windy conditions that will result in wind chills between -5° and -10° F around daybreak. The sustained winds will continue on Thursday, with highs expected to be near 20° F and a wind child near zero all day. Thursday night will see lows near 10° F with wind chills near zero. Moderate temperatures are expected to return on Friday with highs near 32° F and wind chills also near 32° F.
While activated, the protocol directs staff from the state’s Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection (DESPP), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Department of Housing (DOH) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable populations receive shelter and are protected from the severe cold weather.
This includes the following actions:
- DESPP’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security activates its WebEOC communications network, 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.
- DSS, DOH, and DMHAS coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, along with community-based providers, to provide transportation for people seeking shelter.
The most up-to-date list of shelters and warming centers that are available throughout Connecticut can be found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org.