The health commissioner declares a Code Red Heat Alert during periods of extreme heat. The decision to activate a Code Red Heat Alert on a particular day will be made before 6 A.M. of that day, if possible.
Individuals unsure of whether a Code Red Heat Alert is in effect can call 311 for details. 311 operators will provide cooling center locations, safety tips and information about warning signs for heat-related morbidity.
Individuals can also call 311 to report specific concerns about vulnerable neighbors on Code Red Heat Alert days. Call 911 if you are having a heat-related emergency.
Those without electricity are particularly vulnerable to heat-related health problems. Baltimore City health care providers can request energy assistance referral forms for their patients by calling 410-396-CARE (2273).
The Mayor's Office of Human Services will coordinate water distribution to people throughout the city who are homeless.
The Community Action Program will open the following cooling centers on Code Red Heat Alert days. Centers are open from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekends.
- Northern Community Action Center
5225 York Road
- Southern Community Action Center
606 Cherry Hill Road (inside the shopping center 2nd floor)
- Northwest Community Action Center
3939 Reisterstown Road
- Southeastern Community Action Center
3411 Bank Street
- Eastern Community Action Center
1400 E. Federal Street
The Health Department's Office of Aging and CARE Services will open the following senior centers during a Code Red Heat Alert from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays only.
- Waxter Center for Senior Citizens
1000 Cathedral Street
- Oliver Center
1700 Gay Street
- Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center
1601 N. Baker Street
- Hatton Center
2825 Fait Avenue
- John Booth
229 1/2 S. Eaton Street
- Zeta Center
4501 Reisterstown Rd.
Additional cooling centers may be opened during an extended heat event. Please call 311 before leaving home for the latest cooling center hours and information.
Tips on Staying Cool
The Baltimore City Health Department recommends that City residents:
- Drink plenty of water or juice
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Wipe skin with cool water as needed
- Reduce outside activities
- Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing
- Stay inside during the hottest time of day (between 11 a.m. and 4 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
City residents who want information on the cooling centers can call 311. Any City resident experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.
- Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke:
- Muscle cramps
- Cool and clammy skin
- Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Slurred Speech
- Hot, dry, flushed skin
- Rapid or slowed heart beat
- Seek medical help immediately if any of the above symptoms occur.
- Sign up for Health Department updates on Code Red days or other news.
- Call 311 for up-to-the-minute details during emergencies.
- Follow us on Twitter
- General Emergency Information for Seniors
- Spanish Flyer
Free, Printable Fliers for Distribution: