State's Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be activated this week - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State's Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be activated this week

Posted: Updated:
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Ahead of the bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills expected, Gov. Dannel Malloy is activating the state’s severe cold weather protocol later this week.

The Severe Cold Weather Protocol will begin on Thursday evening, and remain in effect through Saturday morning.

This is the first time the protocol has been activated this season.

By dawn on Thursday, temperatures will dip into the teens and lower 20s.

As for a highs on Thursday, they'll range from the upper teens in the Litchfield Hills to the low and mid-20s elsewhere, Channel 3 meteorologists said. Developing wind will make it feel even colder.

The weather will get dangerously cold as the core of the arctic air moves into the area on Thursday night.

The wind chills then would range from 5 below zero to 20 below, perhaps 25 below in the Litchfield Hills.

Friday is also expected to be bitterly cold with temperatures expected to stay in the teens or low-20s.

The wind will die down by Friday night, but temperatures will drop into the single digits for parts of the state.

“As we experience our first bitterly cold weather of the winter season, I am activating our severe cold weather protocol to initiate essential services that will help protect our most vulnerable,” Governor Malloy said in a press release. “Anyone in need of shelter is urged to call 2-1-1 to find the nearest available locations. I am also encouraging local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to assist people in need.”

The protocol helps to direct staff from the state’s 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," a press release said.

This includes the following actions:

  • 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, along with community-based providers, to provide transportation for people seeking shelter.
  • DMHAS deploys teams that specialize in working with people who are homeless 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.

In addition to being able to call 2-1-1 over the telephone, a regularly updated list of open shelters and warming centers across the state is made available online at www.211ct.org.

The Hartford Fire Department posted reminders on how to stay safe and warm during these frigid temperatures.

  • Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  • Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  • Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  • Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  • The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  • Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

For weather updates on smartphones and tablets, click here or text "WFSB" to 23765 to download the WFSB app.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • State's Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be activated this weekMore>>

  • SIDEBAR - Weather Links

    Weather Links

    Here are some important links to get the latest weather information: Early Warning Weather Center Delays and Closings Livestream Doppler Radar Maps and Radar Technical DiscussionMore >
    Here are some important links to get the latest weather information.More >