BALTIMORE — With temperatures dropping swiftly this weekend, Interim Baltimore City Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller has declared a Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert overnight Friday into Saturday morning.
The declaration is the sixth such Code Blue Extreme Cold warning this winter. A Code Blue is issued when temperatures, including windchill, dip below 13 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a statement from the Health Department. Temperatures that low pose a substantial threat to the life and health of residents, particularly the homeless.
Code Blue season runs from Nov. 15, 2018 until March 15, 2019. So far this Code Blue season there have been three cold weather related deaths, the Health Department said.
During such events, city agents attempt to distribute meals to at risk seniors, provide weatherization services to home owners, help residents obtain energy assistance if needed, and provide cold weather education and outreach.
During Code Blue Alerts, the Mayor’s Office of Human Services Office of Homeless Services works with city shelters to extend hours and expand bed capacity. Residents are encouraged to call 311 if a neighbor is without heat or they are concerned about the well being of fellow residents. City residents can also call the following Community Action Partnership Centers:
- Northern CAP Center (5225 York Road, 21212) – 410-396-6084
- Northwest CAP Center (3939 Reisterstown Road, 21215) – 443-984-1384
- Southern CAP Center (606 Cherry Hill Road, 21225) – 410-545-0900
- Southeast CAP Center (3411 Bank Street, 21224) – 410-545-6518
- Eastern CAP Center (1731 E. Chase Street, 21213) – 410-545-0136
The Baltimore City Health Department also offers the following tips
• Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.
• Always wear a head covering, like a hat and/or scarf, when outdoors.
• Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages.
• Protect yourself against falls in icy or snowy conditions.
• Check on those who are most vulnerable including children, the elderly and/or chronically ill.
• Keep space heaters and candles away from flammable materials, such as curtains, furniture and loose clothing.
• Check your carbon monoxide detector and make sure it’s working.
• Do not use prohibited heat or power sources inside your home, such as stoves or generators. They may cause fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Do not leave your car running in a closed space such as a garage.Do not leave domesticated animals outside.
“With much colder temperatures expected overnight following a week of warmer weather, I am issuing a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration beginning tonight through Saturday morning. I encourage residents to stay indoors, especially those most vulnerable to cold,” Haller said in a statement. “Extreme cold temperatures can permanently injure, or even kill. Please be sure to check on neighbors who you think may be at risk to ensure that they have heat and power, and take care to shelter pets appropriately.”