Are you ready for winter?

Friday, 2 August 2013 - 6:35am

As temperatures rise, we need to turn our attention to the colder months. Is everything in place for winter provision?

Photograph: pbosakov (Flickr)

Maybe it seems a bit out of place to be thinking about the cold on the hottest day of the year, but with temperatures dropping as low as −15.6C last winter, new research indicates that more people than ever sought shelter from the cold during that period.

One in four people had had no previous contact with services, and with more shelters opening than ever, shelters played a  vital role in preventing deaths and connecting people to relevant homelesness services.

Demand for winter support could rise this winter and with uncertainty about how some services will be funded it is vital that communities start planning emergency winter provision now.

Our report outlines the problems that arose with winter service provision last year and suggests ways to address these in preparation for winter 2013. Download the report (PDF format) or read more in our press notice.

New guidance on setting up winter provision

Our new Effective Action guidance on cold weather services aims to help you prevent deaths during severe weather. The guidance includes information on setting up a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) and extended winter provision. You will also find advice on how to advertise your service and reach those most at risk, how to work in partnership to ensure a coordinated response, how to staff emergency shelters, and how to manage the logistics of cold weather services.

Severe Weather Responses - Analysis of winter provision for people sleeping rough 2012-13

Photograph © Flickr, gwire

Survey of local authorities and voluntary sector providers that planned and delivered cold weather provision in 2012-13.