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District Activates Heat Emergency Plan

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Residents Urged to Use Caution and Check on Vulnerable Neighbors During Extreme Heat

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), has activated the city's Heat Emergency Plan due to unsafe weather conditions as a result of extreme heat. For information about services provided during an Extreme Heat Warning, go to heat.dc.gov or call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center by dialing 311.

On days when the heat index, a measurement of the air temperature in relation to the relative humidity, or the temperature reaches 95 degrees, the DC Government activates emergency Cooling Centers. The Cooling Centers will be activated in publicly accessible government facilities, homeless shelters, and senior citizen wellness centers, and will be open until 6 pm or until it has been deemed safe to be outdoors.

To request transportation to shelter for persons in DC who are experiencing homelessness and are outside, contact the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or by dialing 311. Include the time when the person was seen, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

During extreme heat, residents should take the following precautions:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Turn on the air conditioner or fan.
  • Never leave children or pets in vehicles.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Limit exposure to the sun, especially between 10 am and 3 pm.
  • Watch for symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Check on elderly or sick neighbors and friends.

Those without access to cool shelter can visit one of the District's Cooling Centers. Cooling Center locations can be found on heat.dc.gov. (Note: East Potomac Pool (972 Ohio Drive, SW) and Happy Hollow Children’s Pool (2200 Champlain Street, NW) are closed for the season due to major renovations. Similarly, outdoor pools are open on Saturdays and Sundays only (12 pm to 6 pm) until Sunday, June 18.)

Additionally, with temperatures expected to remain in the 90s throughout the week, the Department of Public Works (DPW) trash and recycling crews will begin their collections at 6 am through Friday, June 16. To ensure trash and recycling are out for pick-up at the earlier time, residents can put their items out starting at 6:30 p.m. the evening before collection. Trash and recycling containers should be removed from public space by 8 pm. on the day of collection.

Throughout the summer, when the temperature is predicted to be 90 degrees or higher or the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments announces unhealthy air quality (Code Orange or Code Red days), DPW collection crews will begin their work at 6 am.

Residents can register to receive Heat Emergency alerts on their devices at alertdc.dc.gov.