When Winters Are Dangerously Cold in CT

COLD WEATHER PROTOCOL - Activated from 5pm on Friday February 25, 2022, and remains effect through noon on Tuesday March 1, 2022. 

Directed by Governor Lamont, Connecticut enacts what is known as the Severe Cold Weather Protocol. State agencies such as the Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Housing (DOH), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness engage in a coordinated effort with United Way 2-1-1 and groups who help provide shelter and transportation for the homeless.

How It Works

During Connecticut's Severe Cold Weather Protocol, state agencies and municipal groups and shelters communicate through an internet-based network called WebEOC. Information becomes instantly available to 2-1-1. Live representatives immediately know which shelters, warming centers etc, have available resources and capacities.

2-1-1- phone agents can then provide accurate information to callers on where to go for transportation and shelter.

To stay updated about emergency management news and resources in Connecticut, download the CT Prepares App (link to iOS) or go to ct.gov/ctprepares.

If You Find a Homeless Person/Family

According to the Governor, “If you know of anyone who is in need of shelter, please call 2-1-1, and they will connect you to the nearest available locations." However, when there is no Severe Weather Protocol, try finding the nearest shelter resources using your smart phone by visiting 211.ct.org.

If You Find A Pet in Need

During extreme cold weather (and especially when there is a weather warning or advisory issued by authorities) it is illegal in Connecticut for anyone to leave a dog chained or tethered outside for more than 15 minutes.

If you witness this type of situation, the Humane Society recommends taking the following steps:

  • Report what you observed, including the time, date, exact location, the animal(s) and other details. If you can, take a photo or video.
  • Contact your local animal control agency or sheriff. Write down the name of the person you spoke to and when. Follow up if needed.

You may also report animal neglect in CT by calling 1-800-713-2506 or email AnimalControl@ct.gov

In cases where animal neglect results in death, felony charges apply here in Connecticut.

If you find a stray dog, cat or other pet wandering around in the cold,  try calling 2-1-1 on your phone, or find a local animal shelter resource on 211ct.org. You may also try contracting your local animal control office. But according to the websites of most locations, many of them do not help with stray cats.

If the animal is afraid, try creating a barrier around them (on the ground) using a sheet, leash or other item. Also see if using food to gain its trust will work. You may be able to take him or her inside until help arrives. Learn more tips about helping stray pets in this article by the Humane Society of the United States.

Also, you may with to contact resources such as:

Helping people or animals in dire need of shelter and heat may be one of the most rewarding experiences you will remember in your life. Besides remembering to call 2-1-1, keep important resource numbers and contact information within easy access on your phone.