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The District of Columbia Government, through the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will implement the District Heat Emergency Plan when the temperature or heat index reaches 95 degrees. Extreme heat causes significant impacts to individuals residing in public facilities, public housing, senior facilities, senior centers, and homeless shelters throughout the city. District agencies will activate their internal plans to ensure their residents, employees, and the public are protected against extreme heat. Residents and visitors are encouraged to go to find a cooling center near you. Recreation Centers, DC Public Libraries, and Senior Wellness Centers, are all places to beat the heat and are open to the public. These locations provide a cool place to rest and also provide water and activities.
The heat index is a measurement of the air temperature in relation to the relative humidity, used as an indicator of the perceived temperature. HSEMA, in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH), will disseminate emergency public information to the public through agency outreach programs and the DC webpage at www.dc.gov.
If major power outages occur throughout the city HSEMA may activate a Department of Recreation site as a cooling center for that neighborhood or area. The Department of Human Services will provide water and cots if necessary during the incident.