Temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can be very dangerous to seniors and the frail elderly. Older residents are urged to follow certain protective measures, including: staying in warm places; wearing several layers of dry clothing; wearing a wind-proof outer layer, a hat and mittens when outdoors; taking a warm bath or shower; and drinking plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. In addition, it is important to keep the heat on, even if it is at a low level, to prevent pipes from freezing.
If health problems occur, seniors should call their physician, clinic, the nearest hospital or 911 immediately. Seniors should also try to have their prescriptions filled and request samples from your physician to have on hand in case bad weather makes it difficult to get out.
The following are other helpful community resources to be utilized during the cold weather alert:
Immediate Emergency Response
Emergency Assistance 911
In a life-threatening situation contact for Police, Fire and ambulance services. Please note that there is a charge for DC ambulance transportation to heath care facilities. Medicare Part A recipients may be reimbursed.
Hypothermia/Shelter Hotline (202) 399-7093 or (800) 535-7252
The hotline offers assistance to persons in need of overnight shelter and support for those living in the streets. Open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
DC Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (202) 442-9557
If the heating system is not working in your rental apartment building, notify the property management office. If you do not receive a response, you may call the Housing Inspections Office for assistance during regular business hours. Call the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency at (202) 727-6161 after hours and on weekends.
DC Call Center (202) 311
To report public streets that need snow removal and ice clearing. Also, the main number for the District of Columbia. Residents may also call 311 to report a problem or violation, offer feedback to the Mayor, or obtain government information.
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (202) 727-6161
This office can provide you information about shelters, where to get blankets, heaters, and oil and who to contact for other assistance. For non-medical emergency assistance and service information after hours, holidays and weekends. Open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
DC Office on Aging (202) 724-5626
The Information and Assistance Office can link seniors with needed services and provide you with general information on keeping warm. The Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:15 am to 4:45 pm.DC Energy Office Hotline (202) 673-6750
PEPCO (202) 833-7500
To report electrical power outage in your residence. Also, let them know if there are persons in your household with health problems.
Washington Gas (703) 750-1400
To report gas leakage or outage in your residence. Also, let them know if there are persons in your household with health problems.
DC Water and Sewer Authority (202) 612-3400
Call to report any water problems including bursting of pipes (24 hours a day).
To report cable outages contact your cable provider:
- COMCAST (202) 635-5100
- RCN (800) 746-4726
- VERIZON (800) 483-7988
Emergency Resources and Information
- Yellow Pages
If the heat stops working inside your private residence, check the yellow pages or call directory assistance for listings of heating contractors.