A press conference Friday provided D.C. residents with information and resources on the upcoming heat emergency, as well as tips on how to stay cool.
WASHINGTON — Members of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration held a press conference Friday to inform D.C. residents how to handle extreme heat heading into a weekend where the heat index is expected to reach triple digits.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) implemented a heat emergency plan through July 25. The plan, which takes effect when the heat index is 95 degrees or higher, activates local cooling centers and notifies community partners to prepare for dangerous heat.
Through this plan, DHS will be taking additional measures to curb heat-related illness. Outreach workers conduct wellness checks and provide water to the homeless population, as well as offer free transportation to cooling centers and buses. Additionally, shelters will be maximizing available beds. If you see someone in need of assistance, the shelter hotline is 202-399-7093.
While heat emergencies affect everyone in the community, some residents are more vulnerable than others. The elderly, young children and people experiencing homelessness are more likely to suffer from heat related illness.
Tips to identify symptoms of heat-related illness and how to handle them:
- Heat Exhaustion: Feeling tired, dizzy, nauseous or have a headache à hydrate and move into a cool environment, call 311 in the case of a non-emergency
- Heat Stroke: Appearing confused or unconscious, having hot and dry skin à call 911
The conference also provided recommendations to help residents best stay cool this weekend.
DO: Hydrate with water or sports drinks, stay cool, wear loose fitting clothing, remain inside or in the shade if outdoors, stay active indoors by going to the mall or a movie theater and take care of your emotional wellbeing
DON’T: Open fire hydrants, hydrate with sugary drinks, sit in the house all weekend or ignore signs of heat-related illness
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will be extending the hours of outdoor pools this weekend and encourages residents to enjoy their time in the heat safely at a spray park or pool. Newly extended hours can be found on the DPR website.
As of Friday, no outdoor weekend events in D.C. have been cancelled due to heat.
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