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Bowser Administration Activates Cold Emergency Plan to Take Effect This Evening

Monday, January 26, 2015
District agencies take additional measures to protect people experiencing homelessness during frigid weather.

(Washington, D.C.)  The Bowser Administration’s Department of Human Services (DHS) in coordination with the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) are activing the city's Cold Emergency Plan, to take effect this evening and extend through the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 27, in anticipation of frigid, dangerous weather over the next few days.  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.

DHS, HSEMA and other city agencies have determined that the weather as forecast presents a danger to people out in the cold.  When the Cold Emergency Plan is activated, the District expands on the winter shelter capacity by opening warming sites, and enhances outreach in effort to keep residents who are experiencing homelessness warm and safe.

“This evening temperatures are expected to drop into the 20’s and we expect some snow accumulation. These conditions present a safety risk for many District residents particularly those without housing.   DHS is committed to ensuring residents are safe and secure, and activating our Cold Emergency Plan allows the District to deploy the resources needed to do so.” said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger.

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 [email protected].  An emailed report should include the time when the person was seen, their specific location, and a description of the person’s appearance.

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