New Tools to Find Relief From Summer Heat

District launches apps to keep up with emergency alerts, find water refills

Temperatures soared into the mid-90s Monday, leading the District to call a heat emergency. But this sweltering summer locals have innovative new tools to keep themselves – and their neighbors and loved ones – safe and cool.

D.C. residents can now use their smartphones as a tool to protect themselves from heat exhaustion, including to find free water refills or stay informed on the latest emergency messages.

Get the latest emergency information

For the most up-to-date information on how to stay safe during the heat wave, the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency's mobile app is now available.

The app features information on how to prepare for an emergency, automated alerts, street closures, and disaster safety tips. Some other features of the app include:

  • Direct links to FEMA's website
  • Maps with locations of district police and fire stations
  • Emergency evacuation routes
  • “Alert D.C.” text alerts
  • Weather updates from the National Weather Service

The app can be downloaded on iTunes free of charge.

Find free water

Keeping hydrated is especially important during the summertime, and in D.C. it can be free. The TapIt water refill network has more than 200 water refill locations throughout the city, so when you’re visiting the National Mall or taking a stroll in the neighborhood, there is usually a water refill location nearby. All you need is an empty reusable bottle.

To locate the closest water stations near you, download the “TapIt” locator App, which is available for free on iTunes.

Cooling Stations

D.C. has cooling centers at One Judiciary Square, the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW, the King office building in Southeast and the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center in Northeast, the Associated Press reported. Those who need a ride to a cooling center can call the hyperthermia hotline at 1-800-535-7252.

Public facilities like libraries, recreation centers, pools, museums and other government buildings are available for cooling during business hours.


The District has both indoor and outdoor pools for residents. For a full list, visit the Department of Parks and Recreations web site, or call 202-673-7647.

Spray Parks

For kids, spray parks can be a great way to have fun and keep cool. Here is the list of spray parks in the city:

Chevy Chase Spray Park - 5500 41st Street, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friendship Spray Park – 4500 Van Ness Street, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Joseph H. Cole Spray Park – 1299 Neal Street, NE. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Petworth Spray Park – 801 Taylor Street, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Riggs LaSalle Spray Park – 501 Riggs Road, NE. Open Mon.-Sat.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Closed on Sunday.

Girard Street Park – 1480 Girard St NW. Open Mon.-Fri.,  11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Open Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed on Sunday.

Palisades Spray park - 5200 Sherier Place, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Lafayette Spray Park - 5900 33rd Street, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

14th and Girard Street Spray Park – 14th and Girard Street, NW. Open Mon.-Sun.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

14th and Park Road Spray Park – 14th Street and Park Road, NW. Open Sun.-Fri.,  10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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