City issues Code Blue due to chilly forecast

Code Blue
Photo credit KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia has issued a Code Blue in effect due to the chilly forecast anticipated through the weekend.

It is against City ordinance to leave pets outside during a Code Blue without proper shelter; owners can face fines up to $500. Please call @ACCTPhilly at 267-385-3800 if you observe a dog or other pet outside during extreme cold.

— City of Philadelphia (@PhiladelphiaGov) January 9, 2019

During a Code Blue, the city makes sure people who are homeless have access to safe indoor spaces, and all available beds within the emergency housing network are made accessible.

Liz Hersh with the City of Philadelphia says the initiative takes extra steps to keep homeless people safe. 

"People don't have to leave shelters during the day. There's extra outreach available, so the whole idea is about keeping people warm and safe when the weather is really dangerously cold," Hersh said. 

Homeless people are also allowed to stay inside emergency housing throughout the day.

If you see a person who appears to be homeless during a Code Blue, call the outreach hotline at 215-232-1984.

"Tell the location where the person is and we will get a team out there as soon as possible to try and get them," Hersh added. 

Pet owners are also reminded to keep animals inside during a Code Blue. Owners can be fined $500 if their pets do not have safe shelters.

Do you know what to do if the power goes out during a winter storm? Check out @PhilaOEM's info about how to prepare and what you should and shouldn't do if the lights go out ➡️

— City of Philadelphia (@PhiladelphiaGov) January 9, 2019

To stay up-to-date on developing weather, you can sign up for the city's mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia. Users receive updates via text or email. Text READYPHILA to 888-777 to sign up for text messages.

KYW Newsradio's Justin Udo contributed to this report.