Code Red Extreme Heat

Baltimore City Is NOT Under a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert at this time

Code Red Extreme Heat Alert Information

Overview

The Health Commissioner declares a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert during periods of extreme heat. The decision to activate a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert on a particular day will be made before 6 A.M. of that day, if possible.

Individuals unsure of whether a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is in effect can call 311 for details. 311 operators will provide cooling center locations, safety tips, and information about warning signs for heat-related illness.

Individuals can also call 311 to report specific concerns about vulnerable neighbors on Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days. Call 911 if you are having a heat-related emergency.

Those without electricity are particularly vulnerable to heat-related health problems. City residents who need energy assistance can apply through the Maryland Department of Human Services' Energy Assistance Portal or call 1-800-332-6347. Older adults who need energy assistance can call 410-396-CARE (2273) for assistanceResidents can learn more about the Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program to support cooling systems for qualifying individuals, by going to or calling (443) 984-1066

The Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) will coordinate water distribution to people throughout the city who are experiencing homelessness.

Cooling Centers

On Code Red Extreme Heat days, staff from several city agencies, including the Office of Emergency Management, the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services, and the Health Department, will coordinate the opening of cooling centers to offer air-conditioned spaces and cool water for residents.  

 An interactive map of cooling center sites can be found here

Hours and availability of cooling centers are subject to change. The following locations will serve as cooling centers:

Senior Centers* – open as cooling centers on Code Red Extreme Heat days, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) – From June 1st through September 1st, sites are open as cooling centers on Code Red Extreme Heat days. Days and times vary per location.  

  • Beans & Bread
    400 S. Bond St. 
    Monday – Friday  
    9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  
  • My Sisters Place Women’s Center (open to women and children only)
    17 W. Franklin St.  
    Everyday 
    10:30 AM – 5:30 PM  
  • Manna House
    435 E. 25th St.
    Monday – Friday  
    11:30 AM – 3:00 PM  
  • Franciscan Center  
    101 W. 23rd St.  
    Monday – Friday  
    10:00 AM – 1:00 PM  
  • Weinberg Housing & Resource Center  (WHRC)
    620 Fallsway 
    Everyday 
    11:00 AM – 5:00 PM  

Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC)* – the sites below will open as a cooling center on Code Red Extreme Heat days, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

  • Cherry Hill Homes
    2700 Spelman Road   
  • Brooklyn Homes
    4140 10th Street   

Community Cooling Center

  • ShopRite of Howard Park  
    4601 Liberty Heights Ave.  
    Sunday – Saturday  
    6:00 AM – 10:00 PM 

*All senior centers and HABC cooling centers will not be open on city holidays.

Additional cooling centers may be opened during extended heat events. Please call 311 before leaving home for the latest cooling center hours and information.

Libraries as Cool Air Spaces

Residents are also encouraged to visit open Pratt Library locations during normal business hours to seek relief from the heat. 

Tips on Staying Cool

During periods of extreme heat, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends City residents:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Reduce outside activities and stay inside in air-conditioned locations
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time
  • Check on older, sick, or frail neighbors who may need help responding to the heat

Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which include:

  • Confusion
  • Hot, dry, flushed skin or cool and clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea

Call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Additional steps to prepare your home if you don’t have air conditioning:

  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, or awnings.
  • Consider making temporary window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to place between windows and drapes.
  • With temperatures starting to climb, consider readying your household for summer by purchasing a window air conditioner and insulation. 
  • Take a cool bath and stay hydrated when temperatures increase indoors.

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