City Urges Caution During Dangerously Cold Temperatures

by Lee Hernly, Editor

The City of Alexandria , Virginia urges caution based on dangerously cold temperatures in the region, which have resulted in forecasted wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero this weekend. Time outdoors should be limited as much as possible, and those who must be outdoors should take precautions to stay safe.

Sunday won’t be much better than Friday or Saturday weather-wise:

Use these tips and resources to keep you, your loved ones and others safe during extremely cold weather:


  • If you must be outdoors, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Make sure your outer layer is tightly woven and windproof. Wool clothing keeps you warmer than cotton when it is damp and wet.
  • Clothing should include sweaters, boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to prevent losing body heat.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they cannot come inside your home, make sure they have enough shelter to keep warm and that they have access to unfrozen water.


  • Use caution when operating space heaters or fireplaces, and never leave them unattended by adults. Before leaving the room or going to bed, turn space heaters off and make sure fireplace embers are out.
  • Space heaters should only be used on level, hard surfaces and kept at least three feet away from flammable items like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains, or rugs.
  • If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • To keep your pipes from freezing, run a continuous trickle of water. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing.
  • If your power goes out, report it to Dominion Virginia Power at 866.DOM.HELP (866.366.4357) or
  • To report a water main break or for questions about water service, contact Virginia American Water at 800.452.6863.
  • For more winter weather safety tips and information, visit the Snowstorms & Extreme Cold page.


  • Check on neighbors who are elderly, or have special needs, to make sure they are safe.
  • If you see someone who may be in need of shelter, please call 703.746.4444, 24 hours a day, so a first responder or caseworker can evaluate the situation.
  • During wintry or cold weather, those experiencing homelessness may access the Alexandria Winter Shelter Collaborative, located at Carpenter’s Shelter (930 N. Henry St.). The shelter accommodates men, women, and families with children. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. during the winter, and during more extreme weather, may open earlier or remain open. Please check the City’s Homeless Services webpage for status. For more information, contact the shelter at 703.548.7500. For information about the housing assistance, shelters, and related City resources, visit the Homeless Services webpage.

Remember: For immediate police, fire, or emergency medical response, call 9-1-1. For other urgent situations, call 703.746.4444.


For more information on winter weather preparedness, visit

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