As Met Office issues severe weather warning - Council ensures rough sleepers are protected

As temperatures plummet this week in a severe cold snap, Hounslow Council is working hard to ensure that people sleeping rough are vaccinated.  

Published: Tuesday, 9th February 2021

Rough sleeper

The freezing temperatures mean they are at even greater risk if they catch Covid-19.  

Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Social Inclusion, explained:  

We know that the extreme weather means the risks faced by rough sleepers are even greater and even deadly for some as they spend the night outside.   

“The council has measures in place to make sure rough sleepers across the borough can access support during this cold weather as temperatures hit zero or below.   

“We work very closely with homeless charity, St Mungo’s and the pan-London Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) to ensure sufficient support and facilities are available.   

“This support also includes providing rough sleepers with a warm, safe place to sleep.  

 “Our outreach teams are working jointly with the North West London (NWL) NHS team to ensure rough sleepers have access to vaccination.   

“Our partners will be placed at vaccination sites and will reach out, not only to those already in accommodation, but to those who remain on the streets.   

“This work will begin from tomorrow to ensure we protect those most in need during this difficult time. 

“Since the start of the pandemic and the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative, Hounslow Council has continued to do everything it can to get people sleeping rough off the streets and into safe accommodation, to minimise the spread of infection.” 

The Met Office has said there is a 90 per cent chance of severe cold weather and icy conditions this week. 

Hounslow Council is working hard to ensure that the whole borough is well-prepared and would like to remind all residents that it is important to take special care of themselves, their friends, family and neighbours, so that they can remain safe and well throughout the cold snap. 

Councillor Candice Atterton, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, added: 

“The health and well-being of all our residents is the council’s top priority and we are committed to working with the care sector to keep our residents and staff well and safe, especially during the winter.  

“As the Met Office has forecast the weather will become much colder over the week for all regions with wintry showers, and a risk of snow and ice, it is critical that we stay protected against a drop in temperature as cold weather can impact your body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections.” 

Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter

  • Wear plenty of layers while outdoors and keep your heating on indoors to at least 18-21 degrees Celsius. 
  • Do check-in on elderly relatives and neighbours, especially those who live alone and may be vulnerable to the cold. 
  • Have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help your body stay warm - wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer. 
  • Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time. 
  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts. 
  • Have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm. 
  • To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated in between 16- 20 degree Celsius. 
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