When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 95 degrees, District Government, through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will implement the Heat Emergency Plan and activate cooling centers for residents to seek relief. Residents and visitors should take extra steps to beat the heat by staying in the shade or air-conditioning, drinking plenty of water and visiting a cooling center. Periods of high heat and humidity can cause medical problems such as heat exhaustion and stroke.
Interactive map: Click here for the 2019 cooling center map
DC Recreation Centers, DC Public Libraries and Senior Wellness Centers are open to the public and places you can go to beat the heat. For more information on where to go, call 311 or text 311 to 32311.
The Department of General Services (DGS) advises caution when using recreational services throughout the District during heat emergency. For more information on our field safety guidelines, click here.
A list of cooling centers: 2019 Heat Emergency Plan
Hot and humid conditions can cause medical problems such as heat exhaustion and stroke. If you or someone you know needs transportation to a cooling center, call the hyperthermia hotline at 202-399-7093.
These conditions can also be particularly dangerous for pets. For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures or in vehicles, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at 202-576-6664. For additional pet safety tips, visit ready.dc.gov/extremeheat or ready.dc.gov/pets
Additional Heat Emergency Information Sources
- Learn how to keep cool during a heat emergency
- View the District's 2019 Heat Emergency Plan: The Heat Emergency Plan includes lists of cooling centers, spray parks, pools and libraries. It also contains resources for senior residents and the homeless.
- District's Interagency Working Group on Artifical Turf and Playgrounds website: The Interagency Working Group on Artifical Turf and Playgrounds provides policy recommendations to enact decisions from District leadership related to artifical turf fields and playgrounds maintained by the Government of the District of Columbia.