It might have been delayed, but winter has certainly arrived in the Washington region. Forecasts show temperatures freezing temperatures persisting throughout the week. The area could see its first major winter storm of the season starting Friday.

Local governments have activated their “cold emergency plans,” ensuring the region’s most vulnerable residents have safe places to stay warm.

Here’s what to do if you are in need of shelter, or see someone in need of a warm place to stay.


Call the emergency DC Shelter Hotline at (800) 535-7252 or 311 if you or someone else needs shelter. Officials from the United Planning Organization will provide transportation to the appropriate shelter.

Two warming centers will also be open:

  • Sherwood Recreation Center: 640 10th St. NE (women only)
  • Emery Recreation Center: 5801 Georgia Ave. NW (co-ed)

For a full list of shelter sites click here.


In Prince George’s County, the shelter hotline number is 1-888-731-0999. A list of warming centers open in the county can be found here.

In Montgomery County, the county crisis hotline number is 240-777-4000.


Arlington County’s emergency winter shelter is open overnight and can be reached at 703-228-7395. It’s located at 2020-A 14th St. N.

Fairfax has a number of emergency shelters throughout the county. If you or someone is in need, call the county’s non-emergency number  at 703-691-2131. A full list of shelters can be found here.

Alexandria’s winter hypothermia emergency shelter can be reached at 703-548-7500, ext. 231. For additional shelter services, call 703-746-5700.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser updates residents on the city's response plan to the massive snow storm expected to hit the area as early as Friday. (WUSA9)