Excessive Heat Warning in DC: How to Stay Cool

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

The DC Metropolitan area might go under an excessive heat warning as this summer starts to heat up with temperatures this week up to 95 degrees.

To take precautions, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency recommends the following:

  • Try to steer clear of outdoors activity between the hours of 10 and 3, as the weather will likely be its hottest between those times.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Turn on the air-conditioner or fan.
  • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside. SPF 15-30 is best.
  • Watch for symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention advises specific recommendations in the case of both heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea or vomiting, cold and clammy skin, heavy sweating, and possibly fainting. In the case of heat exhaustion, the CDC recommends people move to a cooler location, loosen your clothes, lie down, apply wet, cool cloth to as much of your body as possible and sip water. If you continue to vomit, seek medical help right away.

Symptoms of heat stroke include body temperature above 103 degrees, hot, red, dry or moist skin, fast and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. In the case of more severe heat exhaustion, people are advised to call 911 immediately. Do not give fluids to someone experiencing heat stroke symptoms. Move them to a cooler location and try to lower their body temperature using cool cloths or a bath.

Public cooling centers will be open between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. and can be found at the following locations:

  • One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, NW
  • Frank D. Reeves Center (Lobby) 2000 14th Street, NW
  • King Office Building (Lobby) 3720 Martin Luther King Ave, SE

Emergency homeless cooling centers:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
  • New York Avenue Men’s Emergency Shelter: 135 New York Ave. NE
  • Adam’s Place Emergency Shelter (Men): 2210 Adam’s Place, NE
  • Harriet Tubman Emergency Shelter
  • DC General Building #27 (Women): 1900 Massachusetts Ave. Se
  • Patricia Handy Place: 810 5th St. NW
  • Adam’s Place Day Center (Women): 2210 Adams Place NE

Public housing cooling centers for senior citizens and the elderly:

  • Arthur Capper: 900 5th St. SE
  • Carroll Apartments: 410 M St. SE
  • Fort Lincoln: 2855 Bladensburg Road NE
  • Garfield: 2301 11th St. NW
  • Horizon House: 1150 12th St. NW
  • James Apartments: 1425 N St. NW
  • Knox Hill: 2700 Jasper St. SE
  • LeDroit: 2125 4th St. NW
  • Sibley Plaza: 1140 North Capitol St. NW
  • Regency House: 5201 Connecticut Ave. NW

For more info on how to beat the heat, see here.

WHUR Contributor


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