"Brrr" is the word heard most often on the streets of East Haven this week as temperatures have plunged to sub-freezing levels. Brisk winds have created below zero wind chills.
The long range forecast from the National Weather Service doesn't predict much of a warming trend until early next week.
Severe Weather Protocol
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued a news release Tuesday, indicating that the state's "Severe Weather Protocol" has been activated. That action directs the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected.
“The 2-1-1 system provides an incredibly important service to the people of Connecticut and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the help that is available to them. I am also encouraging local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need,” Malloy said in the release.
Deep Freeze Relief
East Haven currently does not have a warming center, but the Hagaman Memorial Library is open during daytime hours for residents who need a place to warm up.
On a statewide level, DSS coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.
UI Warns Customers
United Illuminating issued a release Wednesday warning its customers to continue to follow standard safety protocols and not to attempt to heat their homes with kitchen appliances. They company also provided a link to safety information related to space heaters issud by the Consumer Product Safety Council http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/11/space-heater-safety.
United Illuminating also advised people to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are in working order. "Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, colorless and tasteless, but toxic — the product of incomplete combustion, which can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning mimic the flu, so make sure the CO detector is in working order," stated the release.