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Mayor Bowser Extends Cold Emergency through Sunday, January 21, Deploys District Snow Team for Overnight Snowfall

Thursday, January 18, 2024

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced that the District’s Cold Weather Emergency is extended through Sunday, January 21. Additionally, the District Snow Team will deploy tonight in anticipation of snowfall expected to begin after 1 am. on Friday morning and continue through the day on Friday. According to the National Weather Service, the District is expecting approximately 1-2 inches of snow, with the potential for up to four inches of accumulation.
Beginning at midnight, the Snow Team will deploy to apply salt on all snow emergency routes, including the National Highway System. Residential and side streets are already pretreated due to the amount of brine and salt spread during the snow event earlier this week. Trucks will be on standby to make additional deployments should accumulation reach two inches or more. 
While the Cold Weather Emergency continues to be activated, residents are encouraged to call 311 or the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to request accessible shelter transport for individuals experiencing homelessness who may have disabilities, other access and/or functional needs, and are outside. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there is an immediate risk to safety, dial 911.
Cold Weather Safety Precautions:

  • Stay inside if you can.
  • Cover up and limit exposed skin when you go outside.
  • Check on your neighbors and learn the signs of hypothermia - young children, the elderly, and those with access and functional needs are the most vulnerable in our community.
  • Do not use a gas oven, generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline burning device to heat the inside of your home, basement, or garage.
  • For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) 723-5730. 
  • For additional cold weather information and preparedness tips, visit

In preparation for inclement winter weather, the District Snow Team is encouraging residents to take the following steps to ensure their safety and the safety of their neighbors: 
Winter Weather Safety and Preparedness Tips

  • Apply abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping cat litter – to your sidewalks and walkways.
  • Avoid driving during the worst part of the storm. If possible, only travel during daylight hours, don’t travel alone, and stay on main roads instead of taking shortcuts.
  • Have enough over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pets.
  • Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.
  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.
  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and/or replace the batteries in existing devices.
  • Avoid frozen pipes by allowing a small trickle of water to run through the pipes.

Residential Snow Clearing
Residential property owners who are not enrolled in the Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption Program are also required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event. 
ServeDC urges residents to volunteer to clear sidewalks for senior residents and those with access and functional needs through the DC Volunteer Snow Team. Residents can register for the DC Volunteer Snow Team HERE.
Businesses and Streateries
Commercial property owners are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks, parklets, and streateries within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event. Business owner/permit holders are responsible for clearing out all snow within the outdoor dining area and ensuring sidewalks are accessible. The District Snow Team recommends that restaurant owners along the treated routes bring in all furniture and other elements within the outdoor dining areas, except for the barriers. Failure to do so may result in damage to the furniture or other streatery materials.
The District Snow Team will continue to monitor the weather forecast and adjust its response as necessary. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, visit
Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important weather alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at

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