Council Members Revise Emergency Weather Ordinance

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Monday, July 12, 2021 at 5:09 p.m.

Friday afternoon Spokane City Council members revised their emergency weather ordinance set for consideration during Monday’s upcoming legislative session. 

“We’ve listened to the community, we’ve heard the administration, and we are making accommodations to revise the emergency weather ordinance,” says Public Safety and Community Health Chair Councilwoman Lori Kinnear.  “This isn’t about the Council or Administration; it’s about fundamental care for the people of Spokane during brutal and extreme weather and ensuring that we have adequate resources and processes in anticipation of future hazardous weather conditions.”

In the revision, the ordinance focuses directly on guidelines and activations to help unhoused people and those who are in vulnerable situations during hazardous weather conditions such as extreme heat, wildfire smoke, or dangerously low temperatures.  The ordinance removes distinction on emergency sheltering specifications that will be addressed in a separate ordinance and will be up for consideration during a legislative session in two weeks.  Ordinances for emergency sheltering have been previously approved, this ordinance looks to update its criteria and protocols in response to emergency weather to include both the housed and unhoused population during inclement climate changes such as heat above 100 degrees or higher than 95 degrees for two consecutive days or more.