Severe Cold Weather Alert
Activation of Protocol January 30, 2019 to February 3, 2019
TO: DEMHS Regional Coordinators, Local Chief Executive Officers, Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs, Emergency Management Directors, and Other Local Officials
FROM: Commissioner James Rovella, DESPP
Deputy Commissioner Regina Y. Rush-Kittle, DESPP/DEMHS
State Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett
DATE: January 29, 2019
At the direction of Governor Ned Lamont, the Division of Emergency Management (DEMHS) within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), the Department of Housing (DOH), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Department of Social Services (DSS), United Way 2-1-1, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and other partners are implementing the severe cold weather protocol to ensure adequate shelter space during the upcoming severe cold weather.
The protocol is being activated as a result of the forecasted bitter cold temperatures from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday. The current protocol activation will be in effect from noon Wednesday, January 30, until noon Sunday, February 3.
Governor Lamont encourages cities and towns to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help those in need. In addition, we want to continue to ensure that if local shelters or other facilities used during cold weather emergencies reach their capacities, there is a system in place to find out where there is space so they can direct individuals and families accordingly.
If you receive a call from someone looking for shelter and you are not aware of any shelter space, please direct the person to 2-1-1. DEMHS will open an incident on WebEOC, “Weather 2019-01-30 Extreme Temp (Cold)”. If your town opens a shelter or warming center, please indicate its status on WebEOC. Working with local shelters, 2-1-1 will act as clearinghouse to ensure that shelter space is found for those that need it. Please spread the word of this critical service provided by 2-1-1.
On behalf of the Governor, thank you for your efforts to keep the residents of Connecticut safe and warm, especially during these cold weather events.
New Year – Same Old Scams
Eversource and Better Business Bureau offer ways to avoid becoming a victim in 2019
BERLIN, Conn. (January 28, 2019) – The New Year is in full swing and so are scams targeting utility customers across the country and right here in Connecticut. Already this year, customers in many towns around the state have been approached by scammers, either on the phone or at their door. To warn customers, Eversource and Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut are teaming up to ensure that people know the telltale signs of scams, so they can avoid becoming a victim.
“The scammers, often sounding legitimate and quite convincing, threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “These scammers can be relentless but they’re only successful if they catch our customers off-guard and scare them into making a payment. We remind customers, if something doesn’t sound right or feel right, trust your gut, and don’t pay.”
With the increase in scams across the country, BBB offers ScamTracker which is a national tracking system that provides up-to-date information on the latest scams. The tool allows consumers to submit scam reports and see what scams are happening right in their backyard. BBB uses ScamTracker to investigate when increased fraudulent activity is reported in a particular area.
“One similarity in many scams, including utility scams, is a sense of urgency. Scammers often convince consumers that payment must be made immediately and that is always a red flag,” says Better Business Bureau Spokesperson
for Connecticut Luke Frey. “The more we educate consumers on the basic red flags of a scam, the least likely they are to become victims.”
Tips to help avoid becoming a victim:
- Eversource representatives never demand instant payment over the phone, require the use of pre-paid debit cards or request customers meet at a payment center to make the payment.
- Never provide personal financial or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door or online, even if they seem legitimate.
- Beware, some sophisticated scammers can manipulate their caller ID to say the caller is with Eversource.
- Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive a written notice that includes information on how to maintain their service.
- Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance.
Eversource urges anyone who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call, visit or an offer, to contact the company directly at 1-800-286-2000. Eversource.com provides more information on how to protect personal information and avoid being a victim of utility scams.
Check out this story to learn how one business avoided falling victim to a scammer.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, provides natural gas to 232,000 customers in 73 communities, and supplies water to approximately 197,000 customers in 51 communities across Connecticut. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its more than 8,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.
When Hebron needs to open a warming center or shelter we need volunteers to man them. That’s what the CERT team is for. Unfortunately, CERT numbers have dropped in Hebron as members have retired or moved. New CERT volunteers are needed to continue performing important public safety functions. The training and equipment are free. Please consider volunteering with the CERT team. There’s a training class starting next month. Email OEM@hebronct.com to learn more.
RHAM Campus Traffic Improvement Presentation – Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. – RHAM High School Auditorium
The Hebron CERT team is in need of new members to help with safety at public events like the Ghost Run and the Harvest Fair and to assist residents following major incidents like ice storms and hurricanes. Training and equipment are provided free of charge. A 20-hour training program will be held at the Marlborough Town Hall on the fourth Sunday of the month from February through June (2/24, 3/24, 4/28, May-TBD, 6/23) from 1PM to 5PM. To register, please contact Marlborough Parks and Recreation at email@example.com or call (860)295-6203 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Your participation could save a life.