(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser, the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), and other frontline agencies want to remind residents that extremely cold weather conditions begin today, Friday, December 23, and will last through the early part of next week.
Residents are encouraged to access the following cold weather resources during this time:
EMERGENCY SHELTERS AND WARMING SITES
Access to Emergency Shelter — Shelters that accept individuals and families in need are open, along with designated hypothermia overflow sites. Individuals can access these sites on their own or by contacting the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311.
Access to Overnight Warming Sites — Designated public buildings may open overnight and during the day tomorrow in the event that the Hypothermia Alert remains activated. Individuals can access these sites on their own or by contacting the Shelter Hotline or 311 for transportation. Overnight Warming Sites are in operation 7:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m. Some sites may open later than 7:00 p.m. based on regularly scheduled business operations. These locations include some libraries and low barrier shelters to come in from the cold.
The Downtown Day Services Center (The Center) will extend walk-in hours until 8:00 p.m. this evening. The Center will also be open 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Saturday, December 24 and will re-open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 26.
Transportation to Warmth and Safety — Free transportation to an emergency shelter or warming site is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in the District during a Cold Weather Emergency. To request transportation to shelter for persons in the District who are experiencing homelessness, contact the Shelter Hotline or 311. When calling the hotline, please include the time, address, or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance. Please call 911 if it appears there is an immediate risk to an individual’s safety.
Families seeking emergency shelter can call the Shelter Hotline at any time day or night. Families may also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue NE, Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon.
The following shelter and Hypothermia Site locations are open:
Shelters for Women
- Adams Place Day Center at 2210 Adams Place NE
- Community for Creative Non-violence (CCNV) at 425 2nd Street NW
- Sherwood Recreation Center at 640 10th Street NE
- Harriet Tubman Shelter at 1900 Massachusetts Avenue SE #27
- St. Josephine Bahkita at 6010 Georgia Avenue NW
- Patricia Handy Place for Women at 1009 11th Street NW
Shelters for Men
- Community for Creative Non-violence (CCNV) at 425 2nd Street NW
- Church of Epiphany at 1317 G Street NW
- Salvation Army at 3335 Sherman Avenue NW
- 801 East Shelter at 2722 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE
- Adams Place Shelter at 2210 Adams Place NE
- New York Avenue Shelter at 1355-57 New York Avenue NE
- Patricia Handy Legacy at 810 5th Street NW
- Trinidad Recreation Center at 1310 Childress Street SE
Shelter for LGBTQ+
- Living Life Alternative at 400 50th Street SE
Youth Hypothermia Sites (ages 18-24)
- Safe Haven at 4900 Quarles Street SE
- SHINE (LGBTQ+) at 4904 Quarles Street NE
- The Sanctuary at 511 Mellon Street SE
TIPS FOR SAFE HEATING AND WATER USE
Preventing Carbon Monoxide (CO) Exposure:
- Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Do seek prompt medical help if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
- Do not heat your house with a gas oven.
- Do not use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent. Use an extension cord that is more than 20 feet long to keep the generator at a safe distance.
For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for available fact sheets.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are a real concern with the coming severe cold. Here are some tips on avoiding frozen pipes and thawing them if they do freeze:
- If pipes run through cabinets or vanities, open the doors to let warmer room temperatures flow in.
- Keep water working and moving through pipes by allowing a small trickle of water to run.
- Don’t attempt to thaw pipes without turning off the main shut-off valve.
- Thaw pipes with warm air using a hair dryer or space heater. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
- Be careful turning water back on. Once the pipes are thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check pipes and joints for any cracks or leaks that might have been caused by freezing.
REPORTING POWER OUTAGES: To report an outage or downed wire, call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) or report and track through the Pepco mobile app or Pepco’s website at pepco.com/Storm. Customers can also send text messages by first texting “ADD OUTAGE” to 48710 to sign up for this service and then text “Out” to report their outage. Customers are encouraged to follow Pepco on Facebook at facebook.com/Pepco and on Twitter at twitter.com/Pepco to get the latest information from the company.
HYPOTHERMIA AND FROSTBITE GUIDANCE
In cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, which can lead to serious health problems. When the weather is extremely cold, try to stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress properly and know who is at high risk for hypothermia or frostbite. For more information about hypothermia and frostbite prevention and treatment, visit dchealth.dc.gov/publication/hypothermia-frostbite-guidance.
TIPS FOR STREET SAFETY
In case of high wind events, business and homeowners are reminded that they must clear their sidewalks, parklets, and streateries of any ice or snow within eight daylight hours of an event’s end. Homeowners and business owners should also secure loose items on their property to prevent airborne debris.
PET AND ANIMAL EMERGENCIES
If you have a pet emergency, or you see an animal in need of help, call the Humane Rescue Alliance 24 hours a day at (202) 723-5730.
ACCESS TO WEATHER UPDATES