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 morbidity.

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.

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

Cooling Centers

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 around the City to offer air-conditioned spaces and cool water for residents without access to air conditioning.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, residents who visit a cooling center are reminded to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing when possible. 

You should not visit a cooling center if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms.

 An interactive map of Cooling Centers can be found here.  

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.

  • Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging
    4501 Reistertown Rd.  
    (410) 396-3535 

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.  

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

Housing Authority of Baltimore City* – sites are open as cooling centers on Code Red Extreme Heat days, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

  • Brooklyn Homes
    4140 10th Street
  • 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 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.

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.

Free, Printable Fliers for Distribution


Its Hot! We are Entering Code Red, and we want you cool and hydrated. Drink water, Stay indoors, Bring your children and pets indoors and check on sick and older loved ones. If you need help, call 311 asap.

Its Hot! We are entering Code Red. Heat Illness symptoms include confusion, dizziness, headache, clammy skin, heavy sweating, and a fast pulse. If you experience these, call 911 asap.

Its Hot! We are entering Code Red, and we want you safe and inside. Cooling Centers are opening, call 311 for availability and locations.

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