Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced he has activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol in anticipation of temperatures in the teens and single digits and wind chills below zero over the next few days and nights. The protocol is effective beginning today, Jan. 6, and will remain in effect through Saturday, January 10.
“We must continue to protect the most vulnerable during these severe cold weather outbreaks,” said Malloy in a press release from his office. “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to assist people in need.”
While activated, the protocol directs the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Department of Social Service, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Department of Housing to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable populations are protected from the severe cold weather.
Under the protocol, the 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 and DOH coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness in working with community-based providers to provide transportation for people seeking shelter.
DMHAS deploys teams that specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage them to take shelter. It also works with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients.