With heat index values exceeding 100 degrees, Baltimore County Department of Health is reminding residents that there are several "cooling center" options to get out of the heat.
From May through September, Baltimore County Public Libraries are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Residents can take advantage of a library's air conditioning and simply read or participate in scheduled programming at any branch.
Despite the name, Baltimore County Senior Centers are open to everyone during extreme heat days, regardless of age, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about those locations, call the Department of Aging Senior Center Information and Assistance line at 410-886-2594.
Residents can also enjoy "cooling centers" not run by the county, such as churches, malls, movie theaters, museums, restaurants, or a friendly neighbor's house who has air conditioning.
There are plenty of ways to try to beat the heat as well by acting and planning intelligently.
Stay hydrated. Eat and prepare meals that require minimal cooking. Wear loose fitting clothing, and if you go outdoors, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Limit outdoor activity. Make sure pets have plenty of water and shelter from the heat as well.
Young children, the elderly, and those with health issues are particularly vulnerable in this weather. Check up on neighbors or relatives who may be struggling with the heat. Do not leave children or pets in cars.
The county recommends residents prepare for emergencies by keeping a kit that includes at least three days worth of water, a flashlight, and a battery powered radio.