Overnight cold forces DC, Montgomery Co. to activate Hypothermia alerts

D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland, activated Hypothermia alerts Monday night as overnight temperatures fall to the low 30s. Here’s what you need to know.

The National Weather Service said the wind chill values are expected to be in the upper 20s and conditions will remain dry throughout the early part of Tuesday morning.

According to the Mayo Clinic, someone exposed to colder than normal conditions can cause their body temperature to drop, leading to organs such as the heart and nervous system not working correctly. Hypothermia can cause heart failure, respiratory issues and possibly death if left untreated.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release that residents must remain vigilant and help those in need of a shelter by calling the city’s Shelter Hotline (202) 399-7093 or by dialing 311. D.C.’s alert is active from 7 p.m. Monday night until 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The following low-barrier and seasonal shelters will be open to serve D.C. residents during the alert: Adams Place (Men); 801 East (Men); New York Avenue (Men); Harriet Tubman (Women); Pat Handy Legacy (Men); Pat Handy Swing (Women); St. Josephine’s (Women); and Sherwood Recreation Center (Women).

Montgomery County’s alert started at 7 p.m. Monday and set to last until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Residents are asked to stay inside if possible or take precautions going outside. Also, residents are asked to notice the warning signs of someone suffering from Hypothermia or frostbite, a bodily injury caused by freezing.

The county also said that animals must not be left outside unattended during a Cold Emergency Alert or pet owners will be fined. Pets should be inside or to have an “have an adequate heat source” that was approved Montgomery County Office of Animal Services. The penalty for not following the county’s animal heating rules during an alert is $500.

Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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