After the winter we’ve had, you probably know the drill by now. But if you know of someone in need of refuge from the weather tonight, make sure to call the city’s Hypothermia Hotline so they can be transported to a shelter for the night.

The Hypothermia Hotline number is 800-535-7252. If you are unable to get through, you may also call 311.

For the first time since 2010, the city has declared a snow emergency beginning at 6:30 tonight and Dora Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, says that the city is expecting to see the same number of people in need of shelters as it did during the last two severe cold snaps. For instance, when temperatures dropped well below freezing on Jan. 27, the United Planning Organization, which is in charge of taking people to the shelters, transported 687 passengers to and from shelters.

Taylor says DHS will be doubling outreach efforts during the day to ensure that everyone outside in need of shelters gets to a shelter tonight before the weather conditions become dangerous.

The city will be deploying staff to four locations where bus warming stations have previously been set up to direct people to shelters and answer questions. (There will be no bus warming locations set up tonight for safety reasons.) The outreach will continue until DDOT determines transportation is no longer safe. The four locations are:

  • Judiciary Square Area (5th and C streets NW)
  • Union Station (2 Massachusetts Ave. NE)
  • Farragut Square Area (17th and H streets NW)
  • West End Library Parking Lot (24th and L streets NW)

The city is also opening two extra emergency shelters tonight, though Taylor says DHS is not releasing the names of those to the media.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery