Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert For Tuesday Through Thursday
Tuesday Sep 5th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With temperatures expected to rise in the Baltimore region over the next few days and the heat index forecast to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Baltimore City Acting Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Tuesday, Sept. 5 through Thursday, Sept. 7. The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body.
“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 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 Tuesday, Sept. 5 through Thursday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
- Harford Senior Center
- 4920 Harford Rd.
- (410) 426-4009
- Hatton Senior Center
- 2825 Fait Ave.
- Sandtown Winchester Senior Center
- 1601 Baker St.
- (410) 396-7724
- Oliver Senior Center
- 1700 N Gay St.
- (410) 396-3861
- Waxter Senior Center
- 1000 Cathedral St.
- (410) 396-1324
- Zeta Center for Health and Active Aging
- 4501 Reisterstown Rd.
- (410) 396-3535
The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services site will open the following locations as cooling centers on Tuesday, Sept. 5 through Thursday, Sept. 7. See the hours of operation for each location below.
- Beans & Bread (402 S. Bond St.); 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City will open the following locations as cooling centers on Tuesday, Sept. 5 through Thursday, Sept. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 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 Tuesday through Thursday. 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 a.m. to 4 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 increases 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 3-1-1. Individuals having a heat-related medical emergency, or who are experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 9-1-1.
Information on 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 3-1-1 line, and with local news media.