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Mayor Bowser to Activate Cold Weather Emergency and Deploy District Snow Team Ahead of Wintery Conditions

Saturday, January 13, 2024
Temperatures to Reach Dangerous Lows Starting Monday, January 15; Residents Should Check on Vulnerable Neighbors and Call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to Request Free Transportation to Shelters

(Washington, DC) – Tonight, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will activate a Cold Weather Emergency on Monday, January 15 that is expected to stay in effect through Thursday, January 18.   

Additionally, the Snow Team will conduct an enhanced prowl of 15-20 heavy plows beginning at 6 am on Sunday due to the possibility of a quick, 30-minute burst of heavy snow forecasted to fall between 11 am and 1 pm on Sunday. Snow accumulation is expected to be between one half to one inch. Pre-treatment brine operations will also begin at 6 am on Sunday morning on all snow emergency routes, including the National Highway System.  

Then, in advance of light snow that is predicted to begin Monday night, the District Snow Team will deploy beginning at 6 pm Sunday. 

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

Extended outreach to vulnerable residents began on Friday, January 12, and will last throughout the Cold Weather Emergency, with teams operating from 8 am to 11 pm daily. Extended outreach allows outreach teams from DHS and other human services agencies to assist unsheltered and vulnerable residents with accessing shelters, warming buses, and other resources. Outreach teams will also distribute warming items, including gloves, blankets, and handwarmers, and coordinate with District agencies to ensure unsheltered and vulnerable residents are safe during the extreme cold.  

Call 311 or the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to request accessible shelter transport for individuals experiencing homelessness, who may have disabilities, other access and/or functional needs, and are outside. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If there is an immediate risk to safety, dial 911. 

Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important weather alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alert.dc.gov. For preparedness tips and additional details on the District’s snow response, visit the Snow Season FAQ Guide.  

Cold Weather Safety Precautions

  • Stay inside if you can.  
  • Cover up and limit exposed skin when you go outside.  
  • Check on your neighbors and learn the signs of hypothermia - young children, the elderly, and those with access and functional needs are the most vulnerable in our community.  
  • Do not use a gas oven, generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline burning device to heat the inside of your home, basement, or garage.   
  • For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) 723-5730.  
  • For additional cold weather information and preparedness tips, visit ready.dc.gov/winterwx.  

The following shelter locations will be open:   

Shelters for Women  

  • Adams Place Day Center at 2210 Adams Place 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  
  • Community for Creative Non-violence (CCNV) at 425 2nd Street NW 
  • Harbor Lights (Salvation Army) at 2100 New York Avenue NE  
  • Naylor Road at 2601 Naylor Road SE  
  • Eve’s Place at 2210B Adams Place NE  
  • Faith United Church of Christ at 4900 10th Street NE  
  • Bradley & Associates at 1809 Rhode Island Avenue NE  

Shelters for Men  

  • Church of Epiphany at 1317 G Street NW  
  • Salvation Army at 3335 Sherman Avenue NW  
  • Community for Creative Non-violence (CCNV) at 425 2nd Street 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  
  • KBEC at 4100 South Capitol Street SE  
  • Naylor Road 2603 Naylor Road SE  
  • Emery at 1725 Lincoln Road NE  
  • Blair House at 635 I Street NE    

Shelter for LGBTQ+  

  • Living Life Alternative-Family Life Center at 400 50th Street SE   

In preparation for inclement winter weather, the District Snow Team is encouraging residents to take the following steps to ensure their safety and the safety of their neighbors: 

 
Winter Weather Safety and Preparedness Tips   

  • Find your snow shovel and make sure it is adequate for another snow season.  
  • Check your supply of abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter – and get more if necessary. 
  • Avoid driving during the worst part of the storm. If possible, only travel during daylight hours, don’t travel alone, and stay on main roads instead of taking shortcuts.   
  • Have enough over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pets.   
  • Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves. Call 311 to report clogged storm drains/catch basins and other non-emergency hazards or damage.  
  • Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.   
  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.   
  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and/or replace the batteries in existing devices.   
  • Avoid frozen pipes by allowing a small trickle of water to run through the pipes.     

Residential Snow Clearing  
Residential property owners who are not enrolled in the Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption Program are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks also within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event.   
    
ServeDC urges residents to volunteer to clear sidewalks for senior residents and those with access and functional needs through the DC Volunteer Snow Team. Residents can register for the DC Volunteer Snow Team HERE.   

Businesses and Streateries   
Commercial property owners are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks, parklets, and streateries within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event. Business owner/permit holders are responsible for clearing out all snow within the outdoor dining area and ensuring sidewalks are accessible. DPW recommends that restaurant owners along the treated routes bring in all furniture and other elements within the outdoor dining areas, except for the barriers. Failure to do so may result in damage to the furniture or other streatery materials.

The District Snow Team will continue to monitor the weather forecast and adjust its response as necessary. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, visit snow.dc.gov

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