Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Wednesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BALTIMORE, MD (August 7, 2018) – With continued heat in the Baltimore region and a heat index expected to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit Wednesday, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for tomorrow, August 8th.  The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body.

“Heat is a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions,” Dr. Wen said. “All residents should protect against hyperthermia and dehydration. 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.”

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.  Heat-related illnesses and death can occur with just one day of heat exposure. Heat stress on the body has a cumulative effect, especially for individuals with chronic medical conditions.

The Mayor's Office of Human Services’ Community Action Partnership will open the following cooling centers on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • Northern Community Action Partnership Center
    5225 York Road, (410) 396-6084
  • Southern Community Action Partnership Center 
    606 Cherry Hill Road (inside the shopping center 2nd floor), (410) 545-0900
  • Northwest Community Action Partnership Center
    3939 Reisterstown Road, (443) 984-1384
  • Southeast Community Action Partnership Center
    3411 Bank Street, (410) 545-6518

The Baltimore City Health Department’s Division of Aging and CARE Services will also open the following senior centers from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday:

  • Waxter Center for Senior Citizens: 1000 Cathedral Street, (410) 396-1324
  • Oliver Center: 1700 Gay Street, (410) 396-3861
  • Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center: 1601 N. Baker Street, (410) 396-7725
  • Hatton Center: 2825 Fait Avenue, (410) 396-9025
  • John Booth: 2601 E. Baltimore St., (410) 396-9202
  • Zeta Center: 4501 Reisterstown Rd., (410) 396-3535

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

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. During periods of extreme heat, the Health Department recommends that city residents:

  • Check on older, sick, or frail neighbors who may need help in the heat
  • 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
  • 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

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 signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.

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