Contact local council for emergency accommodation if you are homeless during severe weather conditions in UK – UKMALAYALEE
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Contact local council for emergency accommodation if you are homeless during severe weather conditions in UK

Wednesday 7 December 2022 6:54 PM UTC

LONDON Dec 7: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for the first time this winter to protect homeless people as temperatures are forecast to fall below 0°C tonight.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) sets out the arrangements local councils have put into place to ensure that rough sleepers and homeless individuals who are at greatest risk of sleeping out have access to emergency accommodation during extreme cold weather. Under this protocol, the council, partner agencies and commissioned services will carry out prompt action to ensure all rough sleepers have the opportunity to access shelter.

SWEP will be activated when the Met Office forecasts one or more nights of weather at a temperature of zero degrees Celsius, or below. Local conditions such as wind chill, rain and snow will also be considered alongside the “feels like” temperature”.

The focus of SWEP arrangements is on ensuring a humanitarian response to prevent people dying from the cold or other severe weather conditions. It is expected that all rough sleepers, including those who have no recourse to public funds, have no local connection, have a dog/pet or wish to be accommodated as a couple, are provided with emergency accommodation, irrespective of usual eligibility/entitlement.

The activation of SWEP ensures that councils across London (alongside homelessness charities) open additional emergency accommodation for people who are sleeping rough during weather conditions that could pose a threat to life. All boroughs in London have committed to the Mayor’s ‘In for Good’ principle, which means no one will be asked to leave accommodation until a support plan is in place to end their rough sleeping, regardless of an increase in temperature.

With parts of London expected to drop as low as -3, mayor Sadiq Khan warned that too many individuals are sleeping on the streets without safe accommodation.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Steve Willington, said: “As an Arctic maritime airmass settles across the UK temperatures will fall with widespread overnight frosts, severe in places, and daytime temperatures only a few degrees above freezing. However, the cold air from the Arctic will also bring brighter conditions, with some dry, sunny spells, particularly away from the coast and where winds are light it could feel pleasant in the sunshine. Some patchy freezing fog is also likely. ”

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across Northern Ireland, Wales, western and southwestern England from 5.00pm on Wednesday and going into Thursday evening.

Forecasters say Arctic air will start to move in, with the UK Health and Security Agency issuing a cold weather alert recommending people warm their homes to at least 18C (64.4F).

In a tweet, the Met Office said to get ice scrapers at the ready and dig out the winter hats, gloves and scarves if individuals haven’t already.

“Cold conditions are set to remain through the weekend. Signs of warmer weather moving in from the southwest from Tuesday next week.

Contact your local council to find out if SWEP has been activated in your borough. You can visit the official website of your borough to get the contact number for you to utilise the provision of emergency accommodation for you or for your friend who may be likely to rough sleeping or street homeless. Please see below example of Newham Council’s SWEP activation.

Newham Council – SWEP

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