NEW BRITAIN-With temperatures forecast to dip into the single digits this week, Gov. Dannel Malloy has activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol through Jan. 2.
“With bitter cold temperatures expected over the next couple of days, we must all take precautions and continue to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Malloy said.
Meteorologist Mark Dixon of WFSB-TV3 said despite bright sunshine Wednesday and Thursday, highs won’t get much above 20 degrees.
“It only gets colder as an arctic air mass pivots into New England through the remainder of this holiday week. Wednesday and Thursday will be quite cold, with morning lows in the single digits,” Dixon said.
Although the week appears likely to be storm-free for Central Connecticut, there is a chance of a coastal storm Saturday into Sunday, according to Dixon.
“As of now, we may have some snow to contend with over the first half of the weekend. Regardless, it will still be quite cold with temperatures running well below average,” he said.
The governor urges people in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 to find the nearest available location.
The protocol also encourages state departments to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that those in need are protected from the severe cold weather.
This includes the following two actions.
First, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protections’ 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.
Second, the Department of Social Services, Department of Housing and 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.
2-1-1 directs people to libraries, senior centers and other public locations to keep warm and seek temporary shelter.
Residents of New Britain, Newington, Berlin, Plainville, Southington and Bristol can all go to their local libraries. Senior centers in Southington, Plainville and Bristol are also on the list.
Several homeless shelters are in the area for people meeting eligibility standards. They include the Friendship Service Center of New Britain, The Salvation Army of New Britain and Vision of Faith Outreach Ministry in New Britain.
The Friendship Service Center, at 85 Arch St., will increase the number of people it can serve during the next few days to accommodate those seeking warmth.
“We will take up to 18 additional women and children,” said. Ellen Simpson, executive director of the center.
A full and updated list of shelters and warming centers open across Connecticut can be accessed by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211ct.org.