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 cooling center map
*Residents can type in an address to identify cooling center locations closest to them, site addresses and hours of location.
Select DC facilities 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.
Transportation to Shelters: For transportation to a shelter, please call 311 or the Shelter Hotline (202) 399-7093.
Note the following limitations:
- Accessible transportation for persons with disabilities is provided upon request; and
- Unscheduled (on-demand) transportation is limited and subject to traffic and other conditions.
Field Safety: 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.
Pet Safety: 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
- 2021 District of Columbia Heat Emergency Plan
- Learn How to Keep Cool During a Heat Emergency
- Understanding Extreme Heat Risks
- Extreme Heat Overexposure
- 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.