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 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 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 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.

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.

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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