Friday, January 03, 2014

Extreme cold and Ice Quakes

.... and the Purolator courier is still wearing shorts! City of #Toronto issues Extreme Cold Weather Alert, which continues into its third day, and advises homeless people to seek shelter where enhanced services are available to the vulnerable. Triggered by a prediction from Environment Canada of overnight temperatures lower that -15 degrees Celsius, or issues a wind chill warning for the Toronto area or other extreme weather conditions like a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature. Ice Quakes, Frost Quakes or Cryoseisms were reported on Friday when ice buckled or broke after bitterly cold temperatures descended on an unsuspecting central and southern Ontario.
"During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert:
• Shelters are directed to relax any existing service restrictions and are reminded that if a bed is not available at their site, they are to allow the client to stay at the shelter until they are able to find a bed for them elsewhere in the system.
• The City of Toronto immediately adds 26 shelter spaces for men and women to the shelter spaces available to staff looking to refer a client to a shelter bed.
• Overnight street outreach is increased in the downtown core, focusing solely on warning people of danger and urging them to get into a shelter or another warm, indoor place. Workers will transport people to warm places if necessary.
• TTC tokens are available at some drop-ins so people can use public transit to get to shelters.
• More than 100 agencies are advised of the oncoming extreme weather and asked to relax any service restrictions they may have.

How to get an emergency shelter bed any day, any hour:
• Call 311, or
• Directly contact the City of Toronto's Central Intake line; within the Greater Toronto Area it is toll-free at 1-877-338 3398, or
• Go in person to the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre, located at 129 Peter St. (at Richmond Street).

The Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is always open and has 24-hour street respite for those who do not want a shelter bed, or for whom one is not immediately available. As well as walk-in access to shelter beds throughout the system, the facility provides housing workers Monday to Friday to assist street-involved people to find permanent housing and operates a 40-bed transition to housing shelter program.

If you see someone who you think requires street outreach assistance, call 311. Note that 311 is not an emergency number. In an emergency, dial 911."

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