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 Saturday, June 29.
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The warning is the first such Code Red of the year for the city. The 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.
The high temperatures and mugginess can also 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.
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 following community centers will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday:
- 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 ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave., 21207) will also be open and used as a community cooling center. Pool hours have also been extended.
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.
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.