Information on Cold Emergency Alerts

A Cold Emergency Alert is called when the temperature falls, or is forecast to fall, to 15˚F or below including wind chill, or 20˚F, including wind chill, and one or more of the following conditions exists:

  • Steady precipitation for 60 consecutive minutes
  • Snow accumulation of 3 inches or more
  • Other meteorological conditions or threats as determined by HSEMA

Under a Cold Emergency, additional services and supports are put in place to protect homeless residents beyond what is provided in the Winter Plan during a Hypothermia Alert. These additional measures are put in place to ensure all residents, workers and visitors are protected from extreme cold weather to prevent illness, injury, and death.

To request support for DC residents who are homeless and on the street now, contact the Shelter Hotline at at this email or call(202) 399-7093, 211, or 1(800) 535-7252 (for toll-free calls from a pay phone).

Pets should be brought indoors during hypothermia alerts and extreme cold weather. To report cruelty, neglect, and animal emergencies 24 hours a day, call the Washington Humane Society at (202) 723-5730.