Baltimore, MD -  June 20, 2024 — With temperatures expected to rise in the Baltimore region and the heat index forecasted to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit the next few days, the Baltimore City Commissioner of Health Dr. Ihuoma Emenuga has declared a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Friday, June 21st through Monday, June 24th. 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 extremely hot temperatures. Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, and this is a critical measure to protect our community from severe health risks posed by this intense heat wave,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Ihuoma Emenuga. “Extreme heat is dangerous to young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. Please take immediate precautions to stay cool and hydrated and check on vulnerable neighbors and loved ones. Your safety is our priority.”

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 Baltimore City Health Department’s Division of Aging and Community Support will open the following locations as cooling centers on Friday, June 21st and Monday, June 24th from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.:

  • Harford Senior Center | 4920 Harford Rd. (410) 426-4009
  • Oliver Senior Center | 1700 N Gay St. (410) 396-3861
  • Zeta Center for Healthy & Active Aging |4501 Reisterstown Rd. (410) 396-3535
  • Waxter Senior Center | 1000 Cathedral St. (410) 396-1324
  • Hatton Senior Center | 2825 Fait Ave. (410) 396-9025

The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) sites will open the following locations as cooling centers (days and times vary by location):

  • My Sisters Place Women’s Center (women and children only)
    17 W Franklin St. Fri, Sat, Sun, and Mon 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Beans & Bread | 400 S. Bond St Fri and Mon 9:00 am-1:00pm
  • Manna House | 435 E. 25th St. Fri and Mon 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Franciscan Center | 101 W. 23rd St. Fri and Mon 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Weinberg Housing & Resource Center (WHRC)
    620 Fallsway Fri, Sat, Sun, and Mon 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) will open the following locations as cooling centers on Friday and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

  • Cherry Hill Homes | 2700 Spelman Road
  • Brooklyn Homes | 4140 10th Street

ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave.) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours Friday through Monday. Residents seeking relief from the heat can also visit open Pratt Library locations 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:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • 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.

For more information on declared Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days, visit the Baltimore City Health Department’s website  and on social media Facebook @BaltimoreHealth and Instagram @Bmore_healthy. Additional information may also be found via the Baltimore City 311 line, and with local news media.