Heat Emergency in the District

As temperatures soar during the summer months, it’s essential to recognize the dangers of extreme heat and know how to stay safe. Heat emergencies pose a severe threat to individuals experiencing homelessness, who often lack access to cool, safe environments.

At Calvary Women’s Services, we recognize the critical need to protect our community during extreme weather conditions. Here are some important resources to help your neighbors who are experiencing homelessness during periods of extreme heat and humidity.

What is a Heat Emergency?

The District declares a Heat Emergency anytime the temperature or heat index will be 95 degrees or higher, posing a significant risk to health and safety. This can happen during a heatwave or when high humidity levels make it feel even hotter. Heat emergencies can lead to severe health conditions such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration. During a Heat Emergency, you can take an active role in your safety by:

  • Staying indoors
  • Checking on neighbors including children, elderly, and those experiencing homelessness
  • Hydrating and wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing

Know the Signs of Health Risks Associated with Extreme Heat

It is important for residents to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and stroke. A person can go from feeling well to seriously ill within minutes. By understanding these warning signs, you can protect yourself and others from the potentially life-threatening effects of extreme heat. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and ensure a safer summer for everyone. Symptoms may include:

  • Dry red skin
  • Convulsions
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Disorientation
  • Chills
  • Delirium
  • Coma

Cooling Centers

Cooling centers – libraries, pools, community centers, and shelters – are open across DC during a Heat Emergency. These centers are particularly crucial for vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, and those experiencing homelessness. By offering a place to escape the extreme heat, cooling centers help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke, ultimately saving lives. Ensuring access to these facilities during heat waves is a critical component of community health and safety.

District residents can request a ride to a cooling center by calling 311 or (202) 399-7093.

More Tools

During heat emergencies, vigilance is key to ensuring safety and well-being. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and heat advisories and take proactive steps to stay cool and hydrated. Check on vulnerable neighbors, friends, and family members, especially the elderly and those with health conditions. By staying informed and attentive, you can help prevent heat-related illnesses and protect your community.

Sign up for heat alerts by visiting alert.dc.gov

Contact other homeless services in the DMV Region:

  • Alexandria: 703-907-2688
  • Arlington: 703-228-1010
  • Fairfax County: 703-246-5000
  • Montgomery County: 240-907-2688
  • Prince George County: 301-864-7095

Call the Shelter Hotline at 202-399-7093 if you see someone needing cooling relief or 911 if there is an immediate threat to health and safety.

Bookmark this post so you are prepared to help neighbors in need all summer! You can also learn more at heat.dc.gov




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