Sep 18, 2012- 2:01 PM
The alerts are traditionally issued when the mercury dips to -15 degrees C. They’re intended as a short-term emergency response in which local homeless shelters increase their hours and services with an eye to ensuring Sudbury’s most vulnerable aren’t literally left in the cold.
The Elgin Street Mission monitors the weather between Nov. 1 and March 31 and issues an alert when temperatures dip to -15, when there’s a winter storm watch in effect, a winter weather warning, or when the windchill is so intense, Environment Canada issues a caution about conducting outdoor activities.
About 300 people access the extended services in Sudbury whenever an alert is issued. Under the new plan, an alert will also be issued whenever temperatures reach -20 C with the wind chill, in addition to the current -15 standard.