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News from State Senator Ed Gomes

December 15, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3800
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

E-mail me here

On the Web

Capitol: 860-240-0509
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Severe Cold Weather Warning

winter chillConnecticut will activate its Severe Cold Weather Protocol beginning this evening, and it will remain in effect through the morning of Saturday, December 17.

While activated, the protocol directs 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.

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.

Important Safety Tips

  • Please check on your elderly or disabled neighbors, and take caution when using portable heating devices like space heaters.
  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Make sure your outer layer is tightly woven and windproof. Remember to wear clothing like sweaters, boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Wool clothing keeps you warmer than cotton when it's damp or wet.
  • Put mittens over your gloves--layering also works for your hands. You should also wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • In extreme cold, frostbite can happen in under a minute. Wind also increases the risk of frostbite.
  • The symptoms of frostbite include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in areas like your:
    • fingers
    • toes
    • ear lobes
    • the tip of the nose.

Heating Tips

  • Never use your oven for heat, and never bring charcoal or gas grills indoors; they are a carbon monoxide hazard.
  • Don't place electric space heaters near curtains or other flammable materials; turn them off before you go to bed.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Make sure all portable heat-producing appliances are unplugged when they are not in use.

You're receiving this newsletter because you either opted in via e-mail or on my website, or you've been in touch with me or my office regarding an issue or issues of importance to you.

My mailing address is:
Senator Ed Gomes, Legislative Office Building, Room 3800, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0509, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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