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Bowser Administration to Activate Cold Emergency Plan and Deploy District Snow Team Tonight

Friday, January 6, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) –  The DC Government will activate the District's Cold Emergency Plan on Friday, January 6, 2017. The cold emergency alert will be activated tonight at 7 pm until 7 am on Monday, January 9, 2017. Under a cold emergency alert, additional support and services are provided to protect DC residents from life-threatening illnesses and injuries associated with severe cold weather.

The District activates the Cold Emergency Plan when the temperature and wind chill drop to 15° F or when the temperature, including wind chill, is 20° F with an accompanying meteorological event such as snow. The DC Government has determined that the weather as forecasted presents a danger, especially to District residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Key services provided during Cold Emergency Alerts include:

Access to Emergency Shelter  –  Low-barrier, hypothermia and overflow emergency shelters are open during hypothermia and cold alerts. 

  • Access to Overnight Warming Sites –  In order to provide access to a warm and safe facility, designated public buildings - such as recreation centers - may open during the day or overnight. In cases where residents choose not to use the traditional low-barrier or hypothermia emergency shelters, these warming sites offer a warm and safe place to spend the night. Individuals may access these sites on their own or by contacting the Shelter Hotline for transportation. Overnight warming sites will be in operation from 7 pm to 7 am Some sites may open later than 7 pm based on regularly scheduled business operations.
  • 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 Emergency Alert. To request transportation to shelter for people in DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the toll-free Shelter Hotline: (202) 399-7093 or 311. Include the time, address or location of the person, and a description of the person’s appearance.
  • Families seeking emergency shelter can also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE on Monday through Thursday between 8 am and 4:30 pm Families can also call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night.


The following are low barrier and alert night emergency shelters and warming site locations:

Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Women

  • New Covenant Baptist Church: 1301 W Street, SE
  • Community of Christ Church: 3526 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
  • Sherwood Recreation Center: 640 10th Street, NE
  • Nativity Shelter: 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW


Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Men

  • Banneker Recreation Center: 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • Kennedy Recreation Center: 1401 7th Street, NW
  • Sacred Heart Church: 16th Street and Park Road, NW
  • Salvation Army: 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW
  • Community for Creative Non-Violence: 425 2nd Street, NW
  • Adams Place Shelter: 2210 Adams Place, NE
  • 801 East Shelter: 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
  • Raymond Recreation Center: 3725 10th Street, NW


Co-Ed Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters

  • Emery Recreation Center: 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center: 201 N Street, SW


Low-barrier Emergency Shelters for Women

  • Harriet Tubman Shelter: DC General Building 9, 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE
  • Nativity Shelter: 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • Patricia Handy Place for Women: 810 5 Street, NW


Low-barrier Emergency Shelters for Men

  • 801 East Shelter: 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
  • Adams Place Shelter: 2210 Adams Place, NE
  • New York Avenue Shelter: 1355-57 New York Avenue, NE


With more than 230 plows scheduled to activate at 10 pm, the District Snow Team will fully deploy tonight on Friday, January 6

Forecasters predict a light snow fall of 1-4 inches on early Saturday morning between 2 am – 10 am The critical time for snowfall is expected between 3 am – 7 am as the colder temperatures settle in the region overnight. Uncertainty remains in the forecast, so the public is asked to monitor weather forecasts and travel cautiously when driving. The Snow Team previously treated all primary and secondary routes. The deployment will continue until the threat of snow and ice has passed the area.

Motorists are asked to drive cautiously and, if possible, take public transportation instead of driving. Before the storm begins, residents and businesses should apply abrasives (pet-friendly deicer, salt, non-clumping kitty litter, etc.) to the sidewalks around their properties to reduce the possibility of icing. This will allow easier removal of snow from the sidewalks after the storm ends.
For information about preparing for winter weather, the District’s snow program, or seeing where District Snow Team plows are working, visit snow.dc.gov.