Malloy warns severe cold weather to impact the state

With bitter cold temperatures expected to impact the state during the rest of the week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol.

Malloy has directed four state agencies — the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Department of Housing — to coordinate with the 2-1-1 system and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected from the severe cold weather.

Later this week, nighttime lows in southern Connecticut are expected to drop into the low single digits. Daytime highs will remain well below freezing, according to forecasts.

‘Take the necessary steps’

“Throughout the winter season,” Malloy said Monday, “we continue to take the necessary steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter, especially our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

“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 help people in need,” he said.

Shelter capacity is monitored

Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, the WebEOC communications network is activated. This Internet-based system allows 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.

Reaching the homeless

Teams who specialize in working with homeless people are sent into the field to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters.

State agencies work with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.