March 27, 2023

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DC Public Library offers unhoused residents ‘cooling kits’

3 min read

The kits are meant to make a difference for locals who will have to endure the dangerously hot days to come in the District.

WASHINGTON — As the heat wave swelters in the D.C. area, DC Public Libraries have taken action to ensure some of our most vulnerable neighbors get relief from the heat.

The library announced via Twitter on Thursday – when the high hit 97 degrees – that they now have “cooling kits” available for unhoused residents. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory during the day for D.C. and parts of Virginia, as high heat index values made it feel like 105 degrees in some areas. 

The kits are meant to make a difference for locals who will have to endure the dangerously hot days to come in the District. Tuesday of next week is expected to be the coolest – still sitting at a sweaty 89 degrees, while Sunday is expected to get up to a scorching 99. 

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“Cooling kits are available to unhoused residents that can be found at D.C. libraries,” the tweet read. “Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. who supplied many of the cooling kits in an effort to help one of D.C.’s most vulnerable populations. Stay safe!”

The kits appeared to include a water bottle, a travel-size sunscreen bottle and more.

As the days grow hotter this summer, it’s useful to understand and interpret the meaning of a heat index. It’s a common term thrown around in the summer, especially during heatwaves. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the heat index is “a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.” 

In basic terms, the heat index is what the temperature feels like thanks to the moisture in the air. That moisture makes it harder for your body to cool down because your sweat, a natural cooling mechanism, can’t evaporate as readily in the muggy air.

READ MORE: Here’s how heat index correlates to dangerous conditions

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2022-07-22 03:03:39

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