Baltimore City Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Sunday; First of the Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BALTIMORE, MD (June 30, 2018) – With a heat index expected to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Sunday, July 1, 2018.  The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body. This is Baltimore City’s first Code Red Extreme Heat Alert of the season.  Temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit are expected over the next few days.

“Hundreds of people die every year from heat-related illness,” said Dr. Wen. “Heat is a silent killer and a threat to the health of everyone in our city, particularly the young, the elderly and those with chronic diseases. In weather like this, it’s important for everyone to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration.”

The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert during periods of heat that are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore citizens. Once a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert declaration is made, public messaging activities are undertaken to encourage safety when outdoors.  Even on days a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is not declared, it is important to take precautions.

The Mayor's Office of Human Services’ Community Action Partnership will open the following cooling centers on Sunday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Northern Community Action Partnership Center
    5225 York Road, (410) 396-6084
  • Northwest Community Action Partnership Center
    3939 Reisterstown Road, (443) 984-1384
  • Southeast Community Action Partnership Center
    3411 Bank Street, (410) 545-6518

Additionally, ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave, 21207) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours.  The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will also extend pool hours.

During periods of extreme heat, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that 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 in 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

“We can prevent heat from killing our citizens,” Dr. Wen added. “It’s important to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay in touch with your neighbors, especially seniors and medically frail individuals who live alone or without air conditioning during times of extreme heat.”

For more information on Code Red Extreme Heat, citizens can check the Health Department website, and the agency’s social media accounts (@Bmore_Healthy and on Facebook).

City residents who want information on the closest cooling center or who are concerned about a neighbor can call 311.

Any city resident experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.

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