Thursday, February 11, 2016
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy is urging Connecticut residents to prepare for bitter cold temperatures over the next several days, with current forecasts for this weekend projecting a low of -5 to -10 degrees F. Sustained winds of 15 MPH, with gusts to 30-35 MPH, are expected. This could create a wind chill of -25 to -35 at times.
In anticipation, the Governor is activating the state's Severe Cold Weather Protocol beginning at 4PM on Thursday, February 11, and it will remain in effect through 10AM on Monday, February 15. While activated, the protocol directs the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Mental Health and 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 are protected from the severe cold weather.
"The next few days will certainly be the coldest we have seen so far this winter season, and could be among the coldest nights in terms of wind chill that our state has experienced in several years," Governor Malloy said. "Those in need of shelter or a warming center should call 2-1-1 to find available locations, which are open throughout the state."
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.