Baltimore City launches 2014 Code Red initiative as temperatures rise

BALTIMORE -  As temperatures begin to rise and with hot and humid conditions expected this week with a heat index approaching 100 degrees, Baltimore City health officials are announcing the 2014 Code Red Heat Alert initiative and reminding citizens of precautions to ensure their safety during hot weather.

In 2013, there were six Code Red declarations issued and two hyperthermia-related heat deaths, and in 2012, there were 17 Code Red declarations issued and 13 hyperthermia-related heat deaths.

A Code Red Heat Alert will be issued by the Health Commissioner when the forecasted heat index is equal to or greater than 105˚F.  The heat index measures air temperature and relative humidity to indicate how hot it feels to an individual outside. 

When a Code Red Heat Alert is declared, staff from several city agencies including the Health Department, Office of Aging and Care Services, Mayor's Office of Human Services, and Mayor's Office of Emergency Management will coordinate the opening of cooling centers around the city to offer air-conditioned space and water for residents without access to cool air in their homes. 

Cooling centers will generally be open at five Community Action Center locations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and at six senior centers from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

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