Programs that arrange for shelter and/or a warm place for people to stay when dangerously cold weather is expected; and/or provide emergency shelter for people who have no place to stay as a result of a large-scale fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or a localized incident such as a house fire, toxic spill emergency or other environmental hazard that disrupts the normal functioning of a community.
Programs that provide daytime or evening access to heated facilities during times of extreme cold for people who are temporarily at risk for exposure due to a power failure, fuel shortage, road closure, homelessness or other situations which make them vulnerable.
Programs that provide access to air conditioned facilities, extend the hours during which public swimming pools and local spray grounds are open, activate street shower sites or take other steps to protect the public’s health during dangerously hot weather. Some communities operate hotlines that residents can call if they see people on the street who are in distress due to the heat so that vans can be dispatched to take victims to cooling centres or other places of shelter. At greatest risk during heat emergencies are older adults, young children, individuals with compromised immune systems and people who take certain types of medication. Existing health conditions such as chronic illness, hypertension, circulatory problems, and obesity can also heighten an individual’s vulnerability.
Programs that provide a variety of services following or in the midst of a major disaster or large-scale emergency which help individuals cope with their own psychological reactions to the incident and/or prepare them to provide emotional support for family members, friends and neighbours who are feeling frightened, confused and no longer in control of their lives because of the event.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.