Cold Weather Reminders and Resources

The City of Elgin’s priority is the safety of its community members. When extremely cold temperatures are anticipated, it’s important to review various precautions to take and resources available to the community.

Residents are encouraged to dress for the outdoors by layering clothing and wearing a hat. To ensure hands and feet are kept warm, lined gloves or mittens on hands and boots on feet are recommended. If at all possible, residents are encouraged to stay indoors over the next several days. Residents are also encouraged to check on friends and relatives to ensure that they are prepared, especially elderly citizens who may live alone. In addition, residents are encouraged to keep pets indoors at home and not in a vehicle. For more information, view the Center for Disease Control’s guide to help you prepare for the extreme cold wave and tips for all of your winter safety needs.

If you, or someone you know, need a place to stay warm, there are several warming centers and shelters in the area. These shelters are open and continue to have available space for those in need. Information regarding shelters, resources and other cold weather considerations are provided in detail below. Please read and help share this important information.


PADS of Elgin (24/7 Shelter)

1730 Berkley Street, Elgin, IL 60123

847-608-9744  |

Elgin Wayside Center (Daytime shelter)

Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wayside will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, December 24 and 25

453 Fremont Street, Elgin, IL 60120

847-695-4405  |

Community Crisis Center (Women’s shelter)

847-697-2380  |

Temporary Emergency Warming Shelter 

The emergency warming shelter, 216 E Highland, will open as each night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., from the evening of Sunday, January 29 through the morning of Saturday, February 4.

The temporary overnight emergency warming shelter will open in the winter when the temperature is 15 degrees or lower (temperature does not include wind chill). The shelter is located at First United Methodist Church of Elgin, 216 Highland Avenue and runs from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on open nights.

Staff will keep monitoring the weather forecast and evaluate the need for additional extended hours as necessary. For more information, please contact 311.

Other Warming Center Options

For other warming center options, please visit 

To view the Comprehensive Resource Guide for Human Services in Elgin click here.

People Experiencing Homelessness:

All shelters and warming centers in Elgin are open when temperatures are 15 degrees or below. If you, or someone you know, require shelter and need assistance with transportation to a shelter or warming center during this time, please contact the Elgin Police Department non-emergency number at 847-289-2700.

Information about human services in the Elgin area is available at, or can be found by calling 311 (847-931-6001) during regular business hours, or the Elgin Police Department’s non-emergency line anytime at 847-289-2700.

In addition, Elgin Police Department officers have comprehensive resource guides on hand that are given out to those in need, providing information to those without immediate internet or phone access.

It is recognized that Elgin has a very caring community and during these extreme temperatures, people want to help. The best ways to help are to volunteer or donate to the safe and established shelters/organizations that the City works closely with. Please contact the shelters listed above if you wish to volunteer or donate supplies.           


Residents are also encouraged to check on friends and relatives to ensure that they are prepared, especially elderly citizens who may live alone.         

Heating Code:

City code requires all homes to have working heat of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (October 1- May 31). Tenants of rental units should not heat space with gas appliances such as a stove or with portable space heaters. Doing so will create a hazardous, potentially life-threatening condition with carbon monoxide or could cause a fire. Tenants without proper heat should report the issue to 311 and find a warm place to stay with friends or family, or at one of the warming centers listed above.

Cold Weather Water Problems:

Take preventive action to guard against water problems at your home or business that can occur during extreme cold temperatures. 

  • Run small amounts of water regularly to prevent pipes freezing.
  • Take extra precaution to protect pipes located in areas exposed to drafts, open windows or unheated areas. Residents can help prevent freezing pipes by making minor repairs to prevent drafts, or heat or insulate exposed water pipes. 

If a pipe freezes, the problem can be resolved by gradually heating the frozen section of pipe with a fan or hair dryer. People are cautioned to not use an open flame to thaw frozen pipes, as this creates a potential fire hazard.

When frost is driven deeper into the ground, service lines carrying water to homes and buildings can become frozen. Residents with this problem should contact 311, as services lines can only be thawed by a professional using electric welders. 

Snow Route Enforcement:

Public works employees can more effectively remove snow if all parked vehicles are removed from the street.

Parking is prohibited on any street designated as a snow emergency route for a period of 24 hours following the accumulation of two or more inches of snow. Vehicles parked on designated snow routes following the accumulation of two or more inches of snow will be ticketed and towed. 

Fire Safety:

Every second counts in an emergency. Please adopt a hydrant and keep it clear of snow and ice. In case of fire, firefighters need to be able to get to the hydrants quickly to protect people and property. In addition, make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors functioning in homes and businesses. 

School Closures:

In the event of large snow storms and extremely cold temperatures, it is common for schools to close, have delays or early dismissals. Please keep an eye out for notifications from the local school districts U-46, Central 301 and 300. Updates are often shared via email and posted to their Facebook pages: School District U-46; Central School District 301; School District 300


In addition to a City ordinance, the State of Illinois also has an animal welfare law stating, “No owner of a dog or cat may expose the dog or cat in a manner that places the dog or cat in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold conditions.” Pet owners, keep your furry family members safe from the elements. Residents, if you are concerned about the welfare of an animal, please call the Elgin Police Department’s non-emergency line at 847-289-2700, while issue is in progress.

For seasonal pet care tips, visit  

Thank you, Elgin community, for supporting one another and sharing this information. Stay warm and stay safe.