District announces plan to help residents during heat wave

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The District on Wednesday afternoon activated a multi-agency plan in response to forecasts for temperatures in the upper-90s to 100 degrees over the next several days, with heat-index values predicted to reach 115 degrees.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a “dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” said the administration of Mayor Vincent C. Gary. The multi-agency heat plan will remain in effect as long as the daily high temperature reaches 95 degrees or higher.

Pepco is urging customers to conserve energy whenever possible, as these extremely high temperatures are expected to push demand for electricity to near record levels across the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

The D.C. Department of Mental Health is distributing hyperthermia information to community mental-health providers and has posted health precautions on its website at dmh.dc.gov.

Agency representatives also are visiting all 115 certified residential facilities that house people with mental illness to gauge preparations for the heat, such as an adequate water supply and functioning air conditioners, according to the administration.

Representatives checked about 50 facilities earlier this week and directed five of them to fix air conditioning. In addition, each facility operator must submit a relocation plan for its residents in the event of loss of air conditioning or power.

District officials are suggesting residents needing to cool down visit city recreation centers, libraries and Senior Wellness Centers. In addition, the city has extend hours of operation at their larger pools from Thursday through Sunday.

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