Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Thursday through Saturday; First of the Season
Wednesday Jul 26th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With temperatures expected to rise in the Baltimore region and the heat index forecasted to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit the next couple of days, Baltimore City Acting Commissioner of Health, Mary Beth Haller, has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Thursday, July 27 through Saturday July 29, 2023. 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.
“It is important that residents understand the dangers of extreme temperatures. Excessive heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. The fact that we're located in an urban area makes things worse because of population density and the presence of heat absorbent asphalt,” said Acting Commissioner of Health Mary Beth Haller. “Extreme heat is dangerous to young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. Please protect yourselves and check in on your family, neighbors, and pets.”
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 residents. Once a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert declaration is made, activities are undertaken to encourage safety. Even on days when a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is not declared, it is important to take precautions.
The Health Department’s Division of Aging will open the following locations as cooling centers on Thursday, July 27th and Friday, July 28th from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.:
- Harford Senior Center
4920 Harford Rd.
- Sandtown Winchester Senior Center
1601 Baker St.
- Oliver Senior Center
1700 N Gay St.
- Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging
4501 Reisterstown Rd.
- Waxter Senior Center
1000 Cathedral St.
- Hatton Senior Center
2825 Fait Ave.
The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services sites will open the following locations as cooling centers:
- My Sisters Place Women’s Center (women and children only)
17 W Franklin St.
10:30 am-5:30 pm
Thursday - Saturday
- Beans & Bread
402 S. Bond St
Thursday - Friday
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City will open the following location as a cooling center on Thursday, July 27th and Friday, July 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:
- Cherry Hill Homes
2700 Spelman Rd.
ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave.) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours Thursday through Saturday. Residents seeking relief from the heat can also visit their local Enoch Pratt Free Library branch during their regular hours.
During the Code Red Extreme Heat season, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that City residents:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Reduce outside activities.
- Stay inside during the hottest time of day (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
- Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations.
- Check on older adults and the sick in your community who may need help in the heat.
- Never leave children alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time.
- Ensure that babies are sleeping safely. The risk for sleep-related infant death when babies overheat
- People should place their infants alone, on their back, in a crib, and with no blankets, pillows, or sheets (a flat sheet covering the crib mattress is fine)
- No head coverings
- Co-sleeping (sharing a sleeping surface with a caregiver or another child) is especially dangerous.
- Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Seek medical help immediately if these symptoms occur:
- High body temperature with cool and clammy skin
- Hot, dry, flushed skin
- Rapid or slowed heartbeat
To keep pets safe, BCHD also recommends:
- Never leave your pets in a parked car. Keep them safe and leave them at home. Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise extremely quickly. Even on a 70-degree day, the inside of a car can rise to a deadly 110 degrees.
- Provide ample shade and water. Anytime your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water.
- Limit exercise on hot days. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on grass if possible.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke. These include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, vomiting, unable to get up, and a deep red or purple tongue. If you see signs of heatstroke, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
City residents who want cooling center information on Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days can call 311. Individuals having a heat-related medical emergency or who are experiencing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.
Information on declared Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days will be shared on the Health Department’s website, Health Department social media (Twitter: @Bmore_Healthy and Facebook: @BaltimoreHealth), the Baltimore City 311 line, and with local news media.