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Information About Cold Emergency Alerts

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Cold Emergency Alerts occur when the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts weather that presents a danger to residents, especially those who are outdoors and experiencing homelessness. Alerts are triggered by either a combination of temperature and wind chill below 15° F, or a combination of temperature and wind chill below 20° F along with an accompanying weather event such as snow.

Under a Cold Emergency Alert, the District provides additional services and supports to protect residents from life-threatening illness and injuries associated with severe cold weather.

Shelter Hotline

Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during Cold Weather Alerts. If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. When calling, please include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

Families seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 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 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Center is closed on Federal holidays.


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