Take Advantage of Warming Centers During Cold Snap

As extreme weather conditions persist, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinoisans of the more than 100 state buildings throughout Illinois which serve as warming centers. The buildings are open throughout the winter to provide safety and warmth for those seeking refuge from the cold.

"I urge individuals and families in need to take advantage of the State's warming centers, particularly during dangerous, sub-freezing temperatures," said Governor Blagojevich. "During this national economic slowdown, Illinois families need all the help they can get to save money on their heating costs while keeping their children warm and safe."

As part of the Governor's annual Keep Warm Illinois campaign, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) makes offices across the state available to serve as warming centers, along with seven Illinois Tollway oases. Warming center hours vary by location and are limited to each facility's regular business hours. Except for Tollway oases, warming centers do not offer food, drinks or other amenities. After business hours, people using the warming centers who have no place to go will be referred to overnight shelters.

In the fall, Governor Blagojevich spearheads the Keep Warm Illinois campaign, an innovative multiagency effort he founded that works through numerous partnerships and programs to coordinate efforts in preparing communities across the state for high home heating costs. Governor Blagojevich launched the Keep Warm Illinois campaign and website in October to help all Illinoisans stay warm, healthy and safe this winter.

The Keep Warm Illinois website offers various no-cost and low-cost energy saving tips, a web-based tool to conduct a home energy audit, links to energy assistance programs and other resources. In addition, the Keep Warm Illinois hotline (1-877-411-WARM) is another resource for Illinois residents to learn how to save energy and get energy assistance.