Thanet council has activated its Severe Weather Emergency protocol (SWEP),
The action is triggered when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees Celsius or below for three consecutive nights.
When the protocol is triggered, the council will provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district so that it can prevent unnecessary deaths during the cold snap.
Thanet's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol has been activated today due to the extreme cold weather. Call 01843 577000 for support with emergency accommodation.
— Communications Team (@ThanetCouncil) December 9, 2017
SWEP should be implemented on the first night of the severe weather forecast and means the authority will work in partnership with the voluntary sector, using homelessness grants and council funds to ensure rough sleepers are provided with shelter.
Call 01843 577000 for emergency accommodation support.
Thanet Winter Shelter is also currently in operation.
Homelessness in Thanet has seen a sharp increase from 33 verified people recorded rough sleeping last year compared to the present estimate of 46 people.
Thanet also has the second highest rates in Kent of excess winter deaths for the rolling period 2006-07 to 2013-16.
Excess winter deaths are defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December–March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August–November) and the following four months (April-July).