Cold Weather Safety

Cold weather including damaging winds, rain, hail, flooding, flash flooding and winter storms can happen anytime in Santa Clara County. Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Equip your home and vehicles with emergency supply kits, prepare for power outages and check on older adult family members and friends who may be more vulnerable to cold weather impacts.

Hotlines

Call 2-1-1 United Way Bay Area: for health and human services in Santa Clara County.

Call the County of Santa Clara, Here 4 You Call Center hotline (408) 385-2400 for assistance. 

HomeFirst Homeless Helpline: Call (408) 539-2105 or e-mail Home First Helpline to access the City of San Jose's Overnight Warming Location (OWL) program. HomeFirst’s Outreach team provides access to emergency shelter, showers, laundry, meals, medical services, case management, employment training, and more.

Valley Transportation Authority is offering FREE BUS RIDES to Warming Centers. Community members will need to let the bus drivers know which location they are going to or coming back from. No proof required.

Find a Warming Center

Warming Centers will be available here when they are open. Simply type your address into the search menu to find your nearest Warming Center. You may also filter by city, day, hours of operation and if pets are allowed.

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Warming Centers

Overnight Warming Locations

During inclement weather, warming centers, and expanded shelter services are available and a list of warming centers and shelters will appear below​​​​. Please call 2-1-1 for information on expanded shelters and additional services in Santa Clara County.​


Due to the rain and cold temperatures, especially in South Santa Clara County areas, the County Office of Supportive Housing is securing additional after-hours shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness. Call 408-278-6420 for help or to direct someone in need of assistance.

 

Anyone in need of overnight shelter should call (408) 510-7600 or email [email protected] for referral to the Evergreen Library and Leininger Community Center.

What Triggers a Cold Weather Activation?

Cold weather can create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. In certain areas, winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. Santa Clara County has experienced its fair share of extreme cold weather and has opened warming centers throughout the County to provide community members with a warm and safe space to take shelter. 

An Cold Weather Activation is triggered when:

  1. Overnight low of 40° F or lower with a probability of rain of at least 5%;
  1. Overnight low of 45° F or lower with a 50% or higher probability of rain;
  1. Persistent rainfall expected for two or more days that would create life-threatening conditions for those living in or along affected areas; or
  1. Overnight low of 35° F or lower for two or more days that would endanger the lives of people living in places not meant for human habitation (outside or in vehicles).

When weather conditions are within range of the triggers, a member of the Office of Supportive Housing's Crisis Response Team (CRT) will contact the National Weather Service to receive a detailed and current forecast.  If conditions warrant, the CRT member will contact the OEM Duty Officer to initiate a stakeholder conference call with. 

For detailed process and procedures for declaring an Cold Weather Activation, you may read the Inclement Weather Annex . You may also find this functional annex on our For Partners page under Emergency Operations Annex.

Sign Up For AlertSCC

AlertSCC is the County of Santa Clara's official emergency alert and warning system. This service is free to everyone. Sign up via text or visit www.AlertSCC.org for more information. Text BADWEATHER to 888777.

Other Services

We expand outreach and services for the homeless to reduce instances of hypothermia and frostbite caused by extreme weather including the cold, wind and rain. Many of the homeless reside in encampments in creek areas and are at increased risk due to health conditions.

Components of the Inclement Weather Plan include expanded shelter services, continued outreach to encampments by the County’s Valley Homeless Healthcare Program and overnight warming centers.

Services for Adults, Families and Veterans

Download the Cold Weather Tips for Older Adults to learn more ways on how you can stay warm during cold weather.

For information on shelter locations and warming centers around Santa Clara County, visit the Office of Supportive Housing website.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

  • Avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, or for extended periods of time in extreme cold weather
  • Dress in layers​
  • Wear a hat, scarf and gloves/mittens
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to avoid hypothermia or frostbite
  • Get out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol if you will be staying outside​

 

Winter Dress Infographic

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that happens when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 F, and hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below 95 F.

People who are 65 and older or very young children are at a higher risk of hypothermia. Alcohol, drug use, and medications can also increase the risk of hypothermia. Left untreated, hypothermia limits your nervous system from working correctly. It can cause a complete failure of your heart, respiratory system, and it can even be fatal.

Symptoms of hypothermia are:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Severe shivering
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Progressive loss of consciousness

Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.​​

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