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211 takes calls 24/7 to help people evade brutally cold conditions

Dial 211 to find a warming center open near you, the state can provide transportation to make sure every person in Connecticut stays warm.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The brutally cold temperatures are almost here and the state is working together with local partners to keep everyone warm and safe. 

Gov. Ned Lamont's cold weather protocol is officially in effect, effective from noon on Thursday to noon on Sunday. The protocols ensure that everyone stays safe in brutally cold conditions.

Anyone in need of warmth can call 211 to get a list of warming shelters open.

There are warming shelters open all over the state and in some cases, the state will even provide transportation to a warming center.

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Employees of 211 are working around the clock to make sure anyone who needs help at any time of day or night is taken care of. 

"Our housing crisis line is typically only open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during this cold weather activation, we do have staff available 24/7 to answer calls for anyone that is in need of shelter and we really take the extra steps to make sure that we stay with each caller until we know that they have a safe place," said Alana Kroeber, senior director with 211 specialized services. 

United Way's 211 normally helps between 50 to 100 people each day the emergency protocols are in place. 

The last time the protocols were in place was at the end of December and 600 people called needing help, according to Kroeber. 

With the cold weather that is expected, frostbite can develop on uncovered skin in as little as 30 minutes. 

That's why spending a lot of time outdoors is not only dangerous but in some cases, it could be fatal.

In order to stay warm, the Red Cross said if you do need to head outside make sure you bundle up by wearing jackets, warm pants, hats, gloves, and scarves. 

In your home, make sure you keep the thermostat at a temperature where your pipes can't freeze, at least 58 degrees when it's this cold outside. If you choose to keep it on the colder side, open up your cabinet doors where your faucets are, so that heat can get to the pipes. 

The 211 hotline will be taking calls 24 hours a day from now until Sunday afternoon. 

For more information on warming centers near you, call 211 or you can visit their website.

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


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