22 Jan ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF FONTOURA ENACT CODE BLUE PROGEDURES TO PROVIDE HOMELESS WITH SHELTER DURING EXTREME WINTER WEATHER
Essex County, NJ – On Friday, January 22nd, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced the Essex County’s Code Blue procedures are being activated because of a blizzard in the forecast. The Code Blue will be in effect from Friday, January 22nd at 5 p.m. to Monday, January 25th at 9 a.m.
“Providing our homeless residents with a warm place to stay during extreme weather conditions is important for their safety and well-being. We thank our participating shelters and warming stations who are working with us to open their doors in these times of need,” DiVincenzo said.
“Our homeless residents need a warm place to stay when winter weather gets this bad. The organizations opening their doors are providing a great service and helping us protect the safety of these vulnerable residents,” Fontoura said.
Conditions for a Code Blue are defined as when the temperature drops below 15 degrees for a 48-hour period or when the wind chill is below 0 degrees. When those conditions are met, or when the weather forecast predicts these conditions, the County Executive can proclaim a Code Blue and enact the procedure.
When a Code Blue is declared, a network of warming stations operated by the County and its municipalities and shelters operated by the community based organizations will be opened. The warming stations identified include Essex County Codey Arena and a variety of public libraries, senior centers, civic and community centers, school buildings, houses of worship, firehouses and first aid squad buildings. Warming stations are generally opened during the day and may not provide overnight accommodations. Shelters do provide overnight accommodations. ln addition, shelters that regularly require occupants to leave during the day will suspend that practice so people can stay indoors.
A list of available warming stations and shelters is available on www.NJ211.org and available by dialing 2-1-1.