The Leon County Board of County Commissioners received a status report on the updates to the temporary cold night shelter activation process during the March 9 meeting.
The Board coordinated with the Big Bend Continuum of Care (BBCoC) in establishing the temporary cold night shelter activation process. The County’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) was already formalized, but the Board requested staff discuss further updates due to lessons learned during the COVID pandemic. The process includes safety and temporary accommodations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CEMP provides an outline for responding to natural and man-made disasters, and it also includes the actions that need to be taken by agencies during every phase of an emergency.
The County updated the CEMP in coordination with the BBCoC to include meetings with agencies following the cold season, outlining the role of public health officials and establishing a planning committee for strategic recommendations throughout the year.
The current temporary cold night shelter process was established in 2012 and has been updated several times since then. The process begins before the cold season starts and involves all local, state and community partners meeting to discuss anticipated resource needs and site locations.
Once the cold season begins, the process requires a temperature of 35 degrees or colder for three consecutive hours before sunrise for a temporary cold night shelter to be triggered. Once that happens, a conference call with all community partners is scheduled to discuss the delivery of services and logistics.
Since the meeting with the BBCoC on Feb. 22, changes have been made to the temporary cold night sheltering process. The changes include establishing a temporary cold night sheltering committee to provide strategic recommendations throughout the year, conducting after-action meetings with participating agencies following cold seasons and involving health officials from FDOH-Leon in the site review process.