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District Government Activates Multi-Agency Response to Extreme Heat and Humidity

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
DPR extends pool hours and cancels all DPR-sponsored outdoor activities for youth beginning Thursday, July 21st.

Due to the heat advisory issued for the District of Columbia, DPR extends pool hours and cancels all DPR-sponsored outdoor activities for youth beginning Thursday, July 21st.

EOM Contact: Linda Wharton Boyd,(202) 727-5011
 DPR Contact: John Stokes, (202) 288-7275

WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia has activated its multi-agency heat plan in response to forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) calling for temperatures in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees over the next several days, with heat-index values predicted to reach as high as 115 degrees. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat-related illnesses are possible. The multi-agency heat plan will remain in effect as long as the daily high temperature reaches 95 degrees or higher.

In response to this plan, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has canceled all DPR-sponsored outdoor activities for youth beginning Thursday, July 21, 2011 through Sunday, July 24, 2011. DPR-sponsored adult activities may continue at the discretion of the organizers. Additionally DPR has announced that it will be extending pool hours at their large outdoor pools beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday. To find an pool in your area, visit the DPR website at DPR.DC.GOV or the DPR Facility Guide. Extended pool hours are as follows:

DPR Outdoor Pools Thursday, July 21, 2011 Friday, July 22, 2011 Saturday, July 23, 2011 Sunday, July 24, 2011
Anacostia 11:00am – 8:30 pm 12:00am – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Banneker CLOSED 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Barry Farms 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Benning Park 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Douglas 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ft. Dupont 12:00 am - 9:00 pm 12:00 am - 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Francis 12:00 am - 9:00 pm 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Harry Thomas 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Jellef 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Kelly Miller 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Langdon Park 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Oxon Run 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 am – 8:30 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Randall 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 am – 8:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Theodore Hagans Jr. 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Upshur 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Volta Park 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 am – 9:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

DPR's priority is to ensure the health and safety of DC residents and youth. Residents are encouraged to use the following guidelines to stay cool and safe during periods of high heat.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

  • Increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
  • Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen

  • Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out.

Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully

  • Try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Rest often in shady areas to allow your body a chance to recover.

Pace Yourself

  • If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
  • If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity.

Stay Cool Indoors

  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
  • If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall, public library, recreation centers or other facilities.
  • Call 311 to locate the cooling centers in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.

Use a Buddy System

  • When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.
  • Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.

Monitor Those at High Risk

  • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • Visit and/or contact high-risk adults twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Do Not Leave Children or Pets in Cars
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside a vehicle is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children and pets who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children or animals, remember to do the following:

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:

  • Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
  • Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure, such as beaches.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.