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Mayor Bowser Activates Extended Heat Emergency Through Thursday, July 11

Monday, July 8, 2024
Residents Urged to Take Precautions to Avoid Heat-Related Illness, Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke and Exhaustion, Check on Seniors and Vulnerable Neighbors, and Call the Shelter Hotline for Residents Who Need Transportation to a Cooling Center

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the Extended Heat Emergency will remain activated through Thursday, July 11 at 10 pm or until conditions improve. With the heat index expected to exceed 100 degrees Monday through Thursday, residents and visitors are encouraged to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and to check on neighbors. Those without air conditioning are urged to seek relief in air conditioned buildings and cooling centers.  

During extreme heat, people should limit their time outdoors. Vulnerable populations, including older adults and those with physical and mental health conditions, should limit their time outdoors to no more than 20 minutes per hour. It is important for residents to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and stroke. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, throbbing headaches, disorientation, chills, delirium, and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid; a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing a heat-related illness, call 911.

Extreme heat can have impacts on a person’s mental health, including increased irritability, symptoms of depression, and the risk of suicide. Heat also can affect behavior, contributing to increased aggression, impulsivity, and increased drug/alcohol misuse. Residents with existing mental health conditions are more vulnerable to extreme heat. People with dementia are at increased risk for hospitalization and death during heat waves. Some psychiatric medications, including some antidepressants and antipsychotics, can affect body temperature regulation, increasing the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Stick to your treatment regimen and talk with your doctor about any concerns. Residents who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, trauma, or showing signs of mental health or substance use disorders can get connected to a mental health professional through the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.
 
During an Extended Heat Emergency activation, additional outreach teams from DHS, the United Planning Organization, and the Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL) are mobilized to conduct welfare checks and encourage individuals to seek relief from the heat indoors. 
 
Residents are urged to stay cool, check on seniors and other vulnerable neighbors, and to call the shelter hotline for unsheltered residents in need of free, accessible transportation to a cooling center. To request accessible transportation to a cooling center for yourself or someone else, call the shelter hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. 
 
The Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) activate an Extended Heat Emergency when the temperature or heat index is forecast to reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least four consecutive days. During an Extended Heat Emergency, the District stands up cooling centers for residents seeking relief from the heat. 
 
Cooling Centers
While some cooling centers will open specifically when a Heat Emergency is activated, many of the District’s cooling centers will be available during their regular business hours. Residents may find their closest cooling center using the District’s interactive map, located at heat.dc.gov.
 
Extreme Heat Safety Precautions: 
Help protect yourself and others from extreme hot weather by: 

  • Staying indoors when possible: find places in the shade or with air conditioning to seek relief from the heat.  Visit heat.dc.gov for a list of cooling centers. 
  • Checking in on your neighbors: young children, older adults, and those with disabilities or other access and functional needs are the most vulnerable in our community.  
  • Drinking plenty of fluids: increase your fluid intake but avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine, or large amounts of sugar.  
  • Keeping pets indoors: walk pets early in the morning, give pets plenty of water and do not leave pets in vehicles, which can reach dangerous temperatures within 10 minutes. For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures or in vehicles, please call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) 723-5730.  
  • Wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen: pick lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing, and wide brimmed hats. Using a SPF 15 or higher sunscreen is best. 

 
Low-Barrier Shelters: 
All low-barrier shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness operate year-round and remain open 24 hours.  
 
Men 

  • 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 
  • Emery Shelter at 1725 Lincoln Road NE 

 
Women 

  • Harriet Tubman Shelter for Women, DC General Building 9 at 1900 Massachusetts Avenue SE 
  • Patricia Handy Place for Women Extension at 1009 11th Street NW 

 
LGBTQ+ 

  • Living Life Alternatively at 400 50th Street SE 

 
The Cooling Center at the Downtown Day Services Center located at 1313 New York Avenue NW is open Monday through Friday from 9 am – 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm. Walk-in services are available to guests with no appointment required. Entry will be permitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Available walk-in services include showers, laundry, medical and mental health treatment, computer access, electronic/mobile device charging, housing case management, employment counseling, harm reduction services, legal counseling and other vital services. Full capacity lunch services will continue Monday through Friday from 11 am – 1 pm. 
 
Overflow Sites: 

  • Emery Men’s Shelter at 1725 Lincoln Road NE,  7 pm – 7 am 
  • Eve’s Place at 2210B Adam’s Place NE, 8 pm – 7 am 

 
Spray Parks, Outdoor Pools, and Indoor Pools: 
District spray parks are open for daily operations from 10 am to 6 pm View a full list of spray parks and locations at dpr.dc.gov/sprayparks
 
Outdoor pools are operating on their weekly six-day schedules. Find the outdoor pool schedule at dpr.dc.gov/outdoorpools.
 
DPR operates indoor pools throughout the District, which can be accessed as cooling centers. View a full list of indoor pools and operating schedules at dpr.dc.gov/indoorpools
 
Recreation Centers: 
DPR manages and maintains neighborhood recreation and community centers that can be used as cooling centers. These centers operate on individual schedules which are available online at dpr.dc.gov/reccenters
  
Utilities Support:

  • Pepco encourages residential energy conservation where possible during extended periods of high heat. To report downed power lines or an outage, text OUT to 48710 or call 1-877-737-2662. For energy conservation tips, click here.
  • To report water disruption, pressure loss, or a sewer emergency, contact the DC Water Emergency Command Center at (202) 612-3400.

 
Fire Hydrant Safety: 
Residents are reminded that the unauthorized use of fire hydrants is unlawful, dangerous, and damaging. To report a fire hydrant that has been tampered with, please call 311. 
 

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