From Governor Malloy:
GOVERNOR MALLOY: REAL COLD STILL TO COME; URGES ANYONE NEEDING SHELTER TO CALL 2-1-1
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today continued to encourage anyone who needs shelter from the extraordinary winter cold now covering the state to call 2-1-1. The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) and the Department of Social Services (DSS), at the Governor’s direction, is coordinating with 2-1-1, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Connecticut’s shelters to ensure that people are protected.
“As bitter as Friday night temperatures may have seemed, it is Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights when the worst of the cold is expected to arrive,” Governor Malloy said. “Last night we successfully handled 46 requests for shelter from people who called 2-1-1. That’s a real success story: It means about 50 people who might have been at serious risk from the weather are safe and warm instead.
“But we have two to three more nights of really brutal cold to endure,” Governor Malloy said. “That’s why it is critical we continue to spread the word about calling 2-1-1 if you need help, and why I continue to urge cities and towns to consider opening warming centers. I also want to express my thanks to the United Way’s 2-1-1, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, the state agencies and state contractors who are working together to safeguard our most vulnerable populations.”
Overnight ambient temperatures are expected to range from near zero along the shoreline to well below zero in the northwestern and northeastern Connecticut. Wind chills will subtract an additional 10 degrees from the effective temperature.
Under the state’s Severe Cold Alert system, DEMHS activates its WebEOC communications network – an Internet-based system that 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 ensure shelter space is found 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 coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve any transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.
DMHAS, meanwhile, has deployed teams who specialize in working with homeless people to locate people who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters. The agency is also working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients during this cold snap.