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Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

During periods of extreme cold weather, the council operates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) which is triggered when night time temperatures are predicted to be freezing or below for three consecutive days. 


When the protocol is triggered, the council provides emergency accommodation for people with nowhere to sleep that night.  During office hours, people can approach the Housing Options Team at Kingsley House, in Gillingham, who will assess the individual’s circumstances and manage the arrangements for booking emergency accommodation. 


Outside of office hours, the council’s out of hours homelessness service will arrange to place rough sleepers into emergency accommodation during the time that SWEP is in operation.  Contact the out of hours homelessness service on 01634 304400.


Once the minimum temperature is predicted to have risen above zero degrees Celsius, emergency accommodation will no longer be provided.


The council spreads the word that the SWEP is implemented via the Homeless Forum, which includes the police, health services, housing providers, local charities and support workers. Together, these organisations inform as many rough sleepers as they can that accommodation is available to them during the period of severe weather.