For most, the temperature drop may be a temporary inconvenience felt dashing from the car to inside the home or office, but for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are homeless or who cannot afford adequate heating, freezing temperatures can be deadly.
Last month, seven people died of exposure to the cold in San Francisco when an unseasonable drop in temperature left many vulnerable.
For cities such as Boston and New York, freezing temperatures are more common. Many metropolitan areas across the country have instituted Code Blue procedures to help assist people who have nowhere to go when the weather is hazardous.
The New York Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will issue a Level 1 Code Blue 24 hours before temperatures are set to drop below freezing. A Level 2 is issued ahead of temperatures dropping to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. A winter weather emergency will be issued if there will be more than 6 inches of snow, sustained winds of more than 4 mph, a high below 15 degrees and/or ice and freezing rain.
On Jan. 3, New York City is expected to receive 6 to 10 inches of snow with highs in the teens. The AccuWeather RealFeel® temperature may be as low as zero. Overnight, lows will reach the single digits and may feel as cold as 12 degrees below zero F.
Thursday afternoon, DHS issued a Code Blue for the city.
For the DHS, in conjunction with groups such as the Coalition for the Homeless, this means opening emergency shelters, increasing shelter staff and taking heated buses through the city to look for people who are left on the streets with nowhere to go. Shelters are not allowed to suspend residents of shelters when a Code Blue is in effect.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 700 people die of hypothermia every year who experience homelessness.
In a report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness it was stated that about 20 people per 10,000 are without homes, with a point-in-time count of 633,782 last January. There are about 14 million homes that are vacant year round in the United States, some of which are abandoned or condemned and require tax money to maintain or tear down.
Adding to that the costs of emergency room visits, jail stays and shelters for homeless populations, the State of Utah has been combatting homelessness by providing people with apartments, job counselors and social workers through the Housing First plan, at a savings for the state of about $5,000 per (formerly) homeless person, per year.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
At least eight people are dead after a Cuban military plane crashed in western Cuba on Saturday.
Dangerous thunderstorms and flash flooding will continue to threaten lives and property across the central United States through Saturday night.
While a storm will douse outdoor plans and lead to flooding on some of the Hawaiian Islands, enough rain may fall to ease drought conditions into the start of May.
Milder air will erase the recent chill and snow across Germany by May Day, though rain threatens to spoil the holiday for western and southern areas.
Temperatures will be put on a roller coaster ride in the northeastern United States through the start of May, delivering bouts of summerlike warmth.
While the recent cold snap will be over, bouts of rain will persist and threaten to disrupt outdoor plans across the United Kingdom during the Bank Holiday weekend.
It will feel like the calendar has been turned back to winter instead of moving ahead to May as snow sweeps across the central United States into Monday.
A powerful earthquake shook the Philippines, bringing the threat for a tsunami near the epicenter of the quake.