As Chicago experiences record-breaking winter conditions, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) continues to coordinate efforts with City agencies to ensure public safety. OEMC and partners are prepared to deploy resources as needed, while monitoring conditions citywide.
Those needing assistance for shelter or any other City-related service should call 3-1-1, use the Chi311 mobile app or visit 311.chicago.gov.
OEMC continues to monitor the lakefront regarding potential street closures and flooding and remain in continuous contact with the National Weather Service and city agencies and are ready to escalate efforts as conditions warrant.
The Department of Water Management reminds residents to prevent frozen pipes in homes, keep a trickle of water running. For more info visit www.chicago.gov/water
The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children’s rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet.
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) activates warming centers at 32 degrees or below. All six DFSS community service centers serve as warming centers and will operate normal business hours, 9 am. to 5 pm. However, the Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie, is open 24/7. After normal business hours, clients who come there will be connected to shelter. Catholic charities will provide transportation.
If conditions warrant when a weather emergency is declared (extreme temps for multiple days, for example), then DFSS will reach out to overnight shelters to request they remain open 24 hours.
On evenings, weekends or holidays, City-operated facilities including libraries, park facilities and police stations during normal business hours might also serve as warming centers if needed.
Those seeking a warm place to go after hours should call 3-1-1 to be connected with available services. Seniors or individuals with limited mobility may call 3-1-1 to request a ride to any of the centers. Individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter should also call 3-1-1.
Information and multilingual fliers containing warming center information in English, Spanish and Polish are posted on DFSS's website and Facebook pages at www.cityofchicago.org/fss and www.facebook.com/chicagoDFSS.
Sign up for the city’s free weather alerts at www.NotifyChicago.com.