The City of Chicago Has Activated the Emergency Operation Plan for Extreme Cold Today Through Wednesday, January 17 and Will Open Additional Warming Centers for Residents and New Arrivals at the Landing Zone

January 13, 2024

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for midnight tonight until Wednesday, January 17 at 9 a.m. bringing extreme cold and wind chills as low as -30° below zero.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for midnight tonight until Wednesday, January 17 at 9 a.m. bringing extreme cold and wind chills as low as -30° below zero. Residents can expect extreme cold and should limit time spent outdoors. Impacts include slippery road conditions due to ice and the wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Motorists are advised to slow down and use caution while traveling. If you have to be outside, wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.


The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will monitor conditions with the National Weather Service in Chicago and keep the public informed when certain thresholds set by the National Weather Service are reached and any related warnings issued.  

For Winter preparedness, visit for additional preparedness tips.


Warming Centers

Beginning this evening the Harold Washington Library at 400 S. State St has opened the lower level as a 24/7 warming center for anyone in need. Migrants awaiting shelter at the landing zone will be transported to this site.


The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will activate warming areas at the City’s six community service centers when temps are at 32 degrees or below.

  • The warming areas are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • For those needing shelter placement, the Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie is open 24-7 to connect families and residents to emergency shelter. The public may use the Garfield location for time-limited warming during non-business hours.
  • Additional facilities are also available as needed. This includes participating Chicago Public Library locations and Chicago Park District facilities during business hours.
  • While most DFSS-funded shelters operate 24/7, DFSS has activated remaining 6 overnight shelters for youth and adults to operate 24/7 from Saturday evening 1/13 through Wednesday morning 1/17 for warming for those shelter residents. Contact 311 for shelter placement.
  • DFSS has expanded outreach teams to encourage unhoused residents to seek shelter or warming options and conduct well-being checks.

DFSS has also activated DFSS-funded daytime drop-in centers to provide extended hours to people experiencing homelessness. Below are locations and hours available Saturday through Tuesday:



Operating Hours  


Inspiration Corporation  

(4554 N Broadway #207, Chicago, IL 60640) 

Monday, 1/15 - Opening at 7am for breakfast – 9:30am  

Tuesday, 1/16 - Opening at 6am for breakfast – 12pm or later  


La Casa Norte at (1736 W 47th St, Chicago, IL 60609) 

24/7 Services for youth 


Lincoln Park Community Services (1521 N Sedwick St) 

24/7 drop-in Services between Sunday 1/14 - Tuesday 1/16 


Matthew House (3722 S Indiana) 

Saturday, 1/13 - 6:30 am to 2:00 pm 

Sunday, 1/14 - 6am – 5:30pm  

Monday, 1/15 - 6am – 6pm  

Tuesday, 1/16 - 6am – 6pm  

Wednesday, 1/17 - 6am - 6pm  


Broadway Youth Center (1023 W. Irving Park Road) 

Will not be open on Sunday or Monday, will have extended evening hours Tuesday, 1/16, 9am - 7pm  


Covenant House (2934 W. Lake Street) 

Will not be open on Sunday.  

Monday, 1/15 – 8:30 am – 7:00 pm 

Tuesday, 1/16 – 8:30 am – 7:00 pm 



For the MLK holiday weekend the following Park District, Community Service Centers and Public Library location will be open:

  • For a list of Chicago Park District warming center locations open on Sunday and Monday CLICK HERE.  
  • Randolph Court at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. will be open as a warming center Saturday-Monday from 10 am-5 pm.
  • Due to the cold temps over the Holiday weekend the 10 South Kedzie location will be open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For those needing shelter placement, the center is open 24-7. The public may use the Garfield location for time-limited warming during non-business hours Note: on Monday, only the Garfield Community Service Center is open in light of the MLK Holiday.
  • All Chicago Public Library locations will be open for regular hours on Saturday and Sunday. With regional locations open as warming centers starting at 9:00 a.m.
  • On Monday, only the regional locations will be open as warming centers from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.: 
  • Harold Washington (Downtown)
  • Sulzer (North)
  • Woodson (South)
  • Legler (West)


Contact 3-1-1 for  well-being checks, shelter placement or nearest Warming Center

  • Those seeking a warm place to go after hours can also call 3-1-1 to be connected with available services. Individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter should also call 3-1-1, visit or download the CHI311 app to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated warming areas. Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during a winter weather emergency. 
  • A list of community service center locations is available along with information and multilingual fliers containing warming center information in English, Spanish and Polish also are posted on DFSS's website at or you can visit this link - City of Chicago Warming Centers
  • For a complete list of warming centers including hours of operation, visit - Warming Centers - Map | City of Chicago | Data Portal 


Cold-Weather Tips

  • Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go. Keep in mind, disabled vehicles or distracted driving can cause accidents, impact traffic and others or requiring emergency services.
  • Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. For Winter preparation information visit, gov/OEMC for details and links to other local, state, and federal resources.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips outside-if you must go out, limit the time you stay outside.
  • Wear several layers of loose, warm cloth.
  • Keep your head, hands and feet covered when outdoors.
  • Stay dry because moisture can damage the insulating effectiveness of clothing.
  • Pay extra attention to your daily needs: get enough sleep, eat high energy foods, drink warm beverages to help your body stay warm, and avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Keep cell phones charged to get updates and assistance, if needed, in emergencies.


Severe cold temperatures, strong winds and snow can cause safety hazards, whether home or traveling, so it’s important to stay informed. OEMC issues several alerts and notifications to keep people up to date on weather conditions and emergencies.

  • Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at
  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices including flooding, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
  • CHIBIZ: Business updates, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3


Winter Weather Preparedness and Weather Forecasts  ChicagoOEMC App (video)

For winter safety and preparedness at your fingertips, residents are encouraged to download the Chicago OEMC App. The public safety tool provides safety information, preparedness tips, emergency alerts, weather information, DSS Snowplow Tracker and more in the palm of your hand. Users will also have access to current forecasts, radar, and public safety information as well. The app is available through the Apple App and Google Play stores or visit the website,


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. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time. Those seeking access to warming centers and/or experiencing insufficient heat are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 for immediate assistance. Also, be sure to keep smoke detectors in working order.


The Department of Water Management reminds residents to prevent frozen pipes, make sure that warm air is circulating throughout the home and keep a trickle of water running. If pipes freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or heating pad. For more info visit


Chicago Animal Care and Control reminds residents that winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines. Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater or coat during walks.


“In preparation for the snow and cold weather, ComEd is ready to deploy additional equipment and crews across the service territory so that we can restore our customers quickly and safely in the event of power outages,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “With ComEd’s hard working and dedicated crews, and nation leading reliability performance, we are well positioned to respond to the impacts of severe weather events ahead.”


ComEd urges customers to contact the company immediately if they experience a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information and can follow the company on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report outages via the website at Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).


Public safety is paramount. ComEd offers the following tips and information encourage customers to stay safe following severe weather:

  • If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
  • Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
  • In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment, and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous.
  • Check on elderly and other family members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements in the event of an outage.


Peoples Gas advises that if you smell gas or think a gas line is damaged, leave the area immediately and call this number from a safe location: 866.556.6002.

  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. It could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Have your boiler/furnace inspected regularly and make sure all natural gas appliances have proper ventilation. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly. Understand the dangers and symptoms of carbon monoxide. Keep the area around your furnace and water heater free of clutter and flammable items.
  • Gently remove snow and ice from outside natural gas meters by hand or with a broom to avoid damage to the equipment. Remove overhead icicles to prevent dripping water from refreezing on your natural gas meters and pipes. Keep your walkway leading to the meter clear for accessibility in an emergency.
  • Peoples Gas is here to help customers struggling to keep up with bills. Go to com, or call us to discuss flexible payment plans and budget billing. Income-eligible customers may also qualify for financial assistance. To see if you are eligible and apply, call the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) at 800-571-2332.


Suspicious Activity: If you See Something Say Something. OEMC reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.


For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook(@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).


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