Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Labor Day and Tuesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763

BALTIMORE, MD (September 2, 2018) – With high temperatures in the Baltimore region this Labor Day and a heat index expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit Monday and Tuesday, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for tomorrow, Monday, September 3 and Tuesday, September 4.  The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body. 

“As Baltimore continues to experience very high temperatures this week, all residents should take precautions to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration,” Dr. Wen said. “Heat is a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions. I urge everyone stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay in touch with your neighbors, especially seniors and medically frail individuals who live alone.”

The Health Commissioner declares 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 residents. Once a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert declaration is made, public messaging activities are undertaken to encourage safety.  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.

ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave, 21207) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours on Monday and Tuesday.

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks will also extend pool hours on Monday.  City pools are closed for the season starting on Tuesday. 

The Mayor's Office of Human Services’ Community Action Partnership will open the following cooling centers on Tuesday 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 Tuesday:

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

City residents can also find relief from the heat at:

  • Stores
  • Malls
  • Movie Theaters
  • Homes of family or friends with air conditioning
  • Restaurants

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
  • Take cold showers or baths
  • Reduce outside activities and stay inside in air-conditioned locations
  • Don’t rely solely on fans to keep cool as they may provide some comfort but won’t prevent heat-related illness
  • Dress in loose-fitting clothing, lightweight, and light-colored clothes. Avoid dark colors as they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles or with the windows down, 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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