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Mayor Bowser Announces Activation of Cold Emergency Plan to Take Effect This Evening

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
District agencies prepare to protect families and residents as frigid weather is forecast

Contact:
LaToya Foster (EOM) (202) 355-5326; latoya.foster@dc.gov
Dora Taylor (DHS) (202) 374-9473; dora.taylor2@dc.gov

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser is activating the city's Cold Emergency Plan, to take effect this evening and through the early morning hours of Friday, January 9, in anticipation of frigid weather over the coming days. Officials at the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) have informed the Mayor that conditions exist that require the plan to be activated at 9 pm tonight. A Cold Emergency Alert is issued whenever the actual or forecasted temperature, including the wind chill factor, falls to 15˚F or to 20˚F with precipitation.

HSEMA, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other city agencies have determined that the weather as forecast presents a danger to people out in the cold.  By activating the Cold Emergency Plan, Mayor Bowser authorizes the District to implement additional measures beyond traditional sheltering, such as warming sites, to keep residents who are homeless warm and safe.

“Tonight and tomorrow we are expecting temperatures to drop to as low as the mid-teens. Temperatures that cold can be dangerous for many of our friends and neighbors, including seniors, the homeless and less fortunate residents who may lack adequate heating or clothing.   The District has the resources to keep our residents safe and secure.  Activating our Cold Emergency Plan allows the city government to deliver vital services to residents when and where they need it most,” said Mayor Bowser.

Individuals who are homeless should request transportation to a shelter or warming site by calling the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093, 211 or 311, or toll free from a payphone at 1 (800) 535-7252. 

The general public may request assistance for individuals who are homeless by contacting the Shelter Hotline or emailing uposh@upo.org.  An emailed report should include the time when the person was seen, their specific location, and a description of the person’s appearance.

Visit dhs.dc.gov to get information about staying warm and for hypothermia and Cold Emergency updates.  Also follow @DCHypothermia and @DC_HSEMA on Twitter for updates.