Alert ~ Extreme Cold and Weather Impacts

December 26th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Blog


This is a message from multiple agencies regarding the weather and its’ impacts: All Metro buses are operating on their designated snow routes and may also be delayed.
Road conditions at this time are hazardous and should be avoided unless there is an emergency. Avoid back road shortcuts and stay on the main roads if possible.
The weather forecast for Vashon warns of sub-freezing temperatures during multiple days and nights in the coming week. Sub-freezing temperatures can pose higher risk of illness, injury or death, especially for people living unhoused or people living indoors without a safe, reliable source of heat.    Animals are also adversely affected by the cold. Bring pets indoors, and shelter livestock if possible. Keep animals’ water sources from freezing.  

Things you can do for the safety of those in your household and neighborhood:
First, take care of yourself and those in your household, including animals. 
Check on nearby friends and neighbors. Elders, very young children, and people with mobility issues or chronic illness may have more difficulty with the cold.

Facilitate help for others: if you know someone who is living unhoused or without heat, offer to help them find a place to shelter, especially at night.

Call 2-1-1 for help with finding a shelter, and arranging transportation to the shelter.
Avoid travel. If you must drive, check on road conditions before you go, bundle up in layers in case you get stuck, and prepare your vehicle with winter driving supplies. See the winter driving tips from Washington State Department of Transportation:   CO poisoning risk: Some types of heating devices pose an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a barbecue or portable combustion-based heater indoors. Open windows to improve ventilation if you smell gas. If electricity goes out, keep generators outdoors, and locate them far from windows and doors.  

Here’s some information on emergency shelters and warming centers:
Due to COVID risks to elder volunteers, no overnight emergency shelter will be opened on Vashon, but a few people have been housed locally on an emergency basis.   King county has opened multiple emergency overnight shelters on the mainland. To access an emergency shelter, call 2-1-1. Bus transportation to the shelters can be arranged, if needed. Proof of vaccination is not required in order to use the county shelters – everyone is welcome. COVID safety protocols will be followed (masking, distancing, ventilation). More information at  

Public daytime warming options on Vashon include:
Vashon Presbyterian Church – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 10am till 12 noon (hand and foot warmers will be offered). Vashon Library – Tuesday and Wednesday from 1pm to 8pm, Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm.