City Desk

D.C. is Under a Heat Emergency. Here’s What You Need to Know

The temperature in D.C. hit 91 degrees with a heat index of 96 degrees this afternoon, which means the city's Heat Emergency Plan has been activated.

In cases of extreme heat (when the heat index tops 95 degrees), the D.C. government opens four cooling centers throughout the city each weekday between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. They are:

  • One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW
  • Reeves Center Lobby, 2000 14th St. NW
  • King Office Building Lobby, 3720 Martin Luther King Ave. SE
  • The Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, 33 N St. NE

Residents can also go into libraries to cool off, but they must follow the libraries' standard rules.

The city will also open seven facilities for homeless people in need of shelter during the heat. Eleven cooling centers specifically intended for senior citizens who do not live in air-conditioned apartments will also be open.

If residents see people in need of shelter on the streets, they are asked to call the United Planning Organization's hotline at (800) 535-7252. UPO will have four vans canvassing the city looking for people suffering from heat-related stress. These people will be transported to a cooling center or shelter.

The Department of Public Works announced yesterday it would start garbage collection an hour earlier than usual, at 6 a.m. this week, so that workers can avoid the worst of the heat in the afternoon. The Department of Parks and Recreation announced it would open its spray parks today, a week earlier than originally scheduled. Here's a list of the city's 19 spray parks.

Read the full 2014 Heat Emergency Plan here.

Stay cool, D.C.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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