BALTIMORE — As temperatures climb towards 100 degrees and humidity thickens the air, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letita Dzirasa issued a Code Red Extreme Heat warning for Tuesday, July 16 through Sunday, July 21.
READ MORE: Baltimore top doc on the health of our city
The high temperatures and mugginess can contribute to air quality issues, which cause particular problems for the very young, the elderly, sick people, and those with respiratory issues like asthma. Pets are also in danger in such weather, as they can’t advocate for themselves to get out of the heat, and they can’t sweat to cool down. Temperature can feel even hotter often in urban areas, as paved and hardened surfaces soak up the hot sun all day and little shade can be found.
Now that a Code Red declaration has been made, the Health Department and the Mayor’s office have opened facilities in the city for residents to escape the heat.
The Community Action Partnership Centers will open the following cooling centers on Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 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
- Eastern Community Action Partnership Center – 1731 E. Chase Street (410) 545-0136
The Health Department advises residents to to take precautions to be safer and more comfortable in the heat:
- 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, sick, or frail people in your community who may need help responding to the heat.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time.
The Health Department’s Division of Aging and CARE Services will also open the following locations as cooling centers from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday:
- 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
- Hatton Senior Center 2825 Fait Avenue, (410) 396-9025
- John Booth/Hooper Senior Center 2601 E. Baltimore Street., (410) 396-9202
- Zeta Center 4501 Reisterstown Road., (410) 396-3535
- Harford Center 4920 Harford Road, (410) 426-4009
Additionally, ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Avenue, 21207) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours Tuesday through Sunday. The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will also extend pool hours.
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
Residents who need additional information about the Code Red Extreme Heat warning or cooling centers can call 311. Those who feel they may be experiencing heat stroke or heat exhaustion should call 911.