(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that based on a weather forecast indicating that Connecticut may experience below-zero wind chills over the weekend, he will be activating the state’s severe cold weather protocol beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 23, 2022, and remaining in effect through 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 26, 2022. This is the first time the protocol is being enacted during the 2022-2023 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.
“We have an interesting set of weather conditions coming to our area over the next several days, first with a storm on Friday during the daytime that has the potential for heavy rain and very strong wind gusts, and then that will be followed by plummeting temperatures that night and remaining throughout the Christmas weekend, particularly during the evening hours,” Governor Lamont said. “This is the first time this season that we will have a stretch of frigid temperatures this low, and we want to remind everyone that shelters are available throughout Connecticut. Anyone in need can call 2-1-1 to get connected to a nearby location, and they can even 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
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