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Heat Emergency Plan Information

When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 92 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 2020 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 Recreation Centers and DC Public Schools 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 Cooling Centers: 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.

Safety at Cooling Sites: Due to COVID-19, upon entry at cooling sites, residents will be offered a mask which individuals will be required to wear for the entire time they are in the cooling site. Individuals will be directed to an open seat that is marked off with tape to indicate required social distancing measures. 

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

Fire Hydrants: DC Water and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) officials remind the public that unauthorized use of fire hydrants is unlawful, dangerous and damaging. 

Additional Heat Emergency Information Sources