Severe Weather Emergency Protocol
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol
Any night that the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius or below (Met Office)
Eligibility & Referral
Referral made via OxSPOT
The first port of call should be one of the the outreach teams:
OxSPOT in Oxford
Connection Support outside the city
If you’re sleeping rough, OxSPOT or Connection Support will assess you and help you find the accommodation and support you need.
During severe weather or every time the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius or below (Met Office forecast) Oxford City Council activates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in order to provide emergency shelter overnight. The council will also use its discretion to activate SWEP during other severe weather, such as snow on the ground, sub-zero 'feels like' temperatures, or a warmer night during a prolonged freezing spell.
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils also activate SWEP on every freezing night.
Cherwell District Council will activate SWEP on the first night of a forecast that the temperature will fall to zero or below on three or more consecutive nights. Cherwell will also consider other severe weather conditions if required.
West Oxfordshire District Council will activate SWEP:
on the first night of a forecast that the temperature will fall to zero or below on three or more consecutive nights
using its discretion if the temperature improves for a night then dips again
if the forecast is -3 or below for one night
if there are yellow weather warnings, except for fog
To avoid the risk of Covid-19 transmission, people were offered their own room for the night last winter. The council intends to deliver SWEP on the same basis again, following positive feedback from people using the service.
KEY INFORMATION about SWEP in Oxford
- SWEP will be activated by the city council when the temperature is forecast to fall to zero degrees Celsius, or below
- The council will also use its discretion to activate SWEP during other severe weather, such as snow on the ground, sub-zero 'feels like' temperatures, or a warmer night during a prolonged freezing spell
- Accommodation will be provided in the form of individual rooms across two sites
- 30 rooms have been identified for SWEP
- People who need access to SWEP who are not identified during the day will be able to present at O’Hanlon House between 11pm and midnight in order to be allocated a room
- A local connection to Oxford is NOT required to access SWEP, and nor are other eligibility requirements associated with accessing other housing services
- Accommodation will be managed by St Mungo’s and Homeless Oxfordshire
- St Mungo’s will co-ordinate access to SWEP allocating individuals to accommodation during the day
- Individuals accessing SWEP will be made aware of their responsibilities for minimising transmission of coronavirus
- St Mungo’s will ensure that all clients who access SWEP (if not already known) are offered a full assessment of their needs and support in order to be offered longer term solutions to their homelessness
People outside Oxford who want a SWEP bed during freezing winter weather should contact Connection Support or their own council in the first instance:
Cherwell District Council - 01295 753 751 or 01295 221 531 out of hours
South Oxfordshire District Council - 01235 422 452 or 01235 422 410 out of hours
Vale of White Horse District Council - 01235 422 452 or 01235 422 420 out of hours
West Oxfordshire District Council - 01993 861 000 or 0151 343 2945 out of hours
SWEP is OPEN for a single night on Thursday 20th January 2022. The situation will be reviewed on Friday 21st January 2022.