News release from Fairfax Emergency Services
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has activated the District’s Heat Emergency Plan. When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 95 degrees, District Government, through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will implement the Heat Emergency Plan and activate cooling centers for residents to seek relief. Residents needing a cool place to be are encouraged to utilize any library or recreation center during their normal business hours, or the Adams Place Day Center.
D.C. Cooling Centers
Cooling Centers are activated in publicly accessible government facilities, homeless shelters, and senior citizen wellness centers, and remain open until 6 pm or until it has been deemed safe to be outdoors. To request transportation to a cooling center for a resident experiencing homelessness, call the hyperthermia hotline at (202) 399-7093. Residents can find their closest cooling center using the District’s interactive map.
Kids and Pets in Cars
Please remember that it is never safe to leave a child, adult or a pet alone in a car, even in the winter. So far in 2019, according to weather.gov, nine toddlers have died in hot cars!
The sun’s shortwave radiation heats objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation that is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The younger the child the more severe the effects because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate its internal temperature.
Heat Safety Tips
- Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat. (See Fairfax County’s cooling center information above.)
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
- Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
- Avoid high-energy activities.
- Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.
- Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 95 and a heat index value as high as 100. Chance of precipitation is 40%, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m.
- Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 90. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
- Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97.
- Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98.