Code Blue Winter Weather Emergency Protocol

CODE BLUE    Winter Weather Emergency Fact Sheet


For this coming winter, in order to meet the most basic needs for those homeless who are unable to secure shelter, the Continuum will be implementing a CODE BLUE Winter Weather Emergency Protocol when:

  • The air temperatures drop to 10 degrees or less, the wind chill is at zero degrees, or below, or
  • When the National Weather Service issues a Winter Storm Warning for Lake County or
  • During a significant snow/weather event, as decided by the Continuum of Care, even if the temperature guidelines are not met


The goal of this CODE BLUE Protocol is to notify local social service agencies, churches, and municipalities that severe weather is imminent and thus of the need to provide all homeless persons, sober or not, with a safe haven where they can stay warm.  At a minimum, overnight safe havens will provide sleeping cots, access to restrooms and, if possible, a simple breakfast.  A day-time drop-in center would offer seating, access to restrooms and coffee/water.


Want to lend a hand? The Continuum of Care's Winter Emergency Planning Team is asking for your help with any of the following:

  • Identifying at least one more facility, in addition to the safe havens already provided by St. Mary’s and the Salvation Army, that could open as part of an ongoing rotation of churches/organizations that provide overnight safe haven during the winter
  • Locating a safe, warm facility, open after 1:00 p.m. (when the Salvation Army’s Day Center closes) that can serve as a day-time drop-in center for the homeless
  • Recruiting more volunteers so that both St Mary's, the Salvation Army and additional locations can adequately staff their safe haven warming centers (schedules/shifts, etc. to be determined in follow-up meeting)
  • Providing transportation between St Mary's/the Salvation Army/other safe haven locations at 7:00 a.m. each weekday morning so the homeless can take shelter in the Salvation Army's Day Center until 1:00 p.m. and transportation to the afternoon drop-in center
  • Providing laundry services so that cot covers, blankets, etc. can be washed each day
  • Providing nourishment such as cereal, milk, snacks and hot/cold beverages; we are assuming that the homeless will eat dinner at the St James/St Mary's evening meal program