Code Red Extreme Heat
Code Red Extreme Heat Alert Information
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 State of Maryland's Emergency Assistance portal or call 1-800-332-6347. Older adults who need energy assistance can call 410-396-CARE (2273) for assistance. Residents 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 will coordinate water distribution to people throughout the city who are experiencing homelessness.
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.
Residents seeking relief from the heat can also visit their local library branch. Bottled water will not be available at these locations. Please call the library branch or 311 for hours of operation.
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.
Harford Senior Center
4920 Harford Rd.
Hatton Senior Center
2825 Fait Ave.
Oliver Senior Center
1700 Gay St.
Sandtown Winchester Senior Center
1601 Baker St.
Waxter Senior Center
1000 Cathedral St.
Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging
4501 Reisterstown Rd.
Mayor's Office of Homeless Services* – Starting June 1st, sites are open as cooling centers on Code Red Extreme Heat days. Days and times vary per location.
- Beans & Bread
402 S. Bond St.
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Housing Authority of Baltimore City* – the site below will open as a cooling center on Code Red Extreme Heat days, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
- Cherry Hill Homes
2700 Spelman Road
*Baltimore City Health Department, Mayor's Office of Homeless Services, and Housing Authority of Baltimore City Cooling Center sites are closed on City holidays.
Community Cooling Center
- ShopRite of Howard Park
4601 Liberty Heights Ave.
Sunday – Saturday
6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Additional cooling centers will be opened during extended heat events. Please call 311 before leaving home for the latest cooling center hours and information.
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:
- Hot, dry, flushed skin or cool and clammy skin
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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