Code Red Extreme Heat Alert Information

Code Red Extreme Heat Alert Information


CODE RED STATUS: Code Red is not currently active at this time. Code Red is activated when the heat index is greater than or equal to 105 degrees.



A Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is issued by the Health Commissioner when the forecasted heat index, a measure of air temperature and relative humidity that indicates how hot it feels outside, is greater than or equal to 105ºF. The decision to activate a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert on a particular day will be made before 6 A.M. that day, if possible. This action by the Health Commissioner will prompt activation of “sheltering in place” for MOHS-funded shelters.

Individuals unsure of whether a Code Red Extreme 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 Extreme 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 Homeless Services will coordinate water distribution throughout the city to people who are experiencing homelessness. The following emergency shelters and community outreach offices have water available during code red alerts: 

Tips for high heat alert

Emergency Shelters & Community Outreach Offices

  • Holiday Inn Express-WHRC 
    1701 Russell Street
  • Greenspring Men’s Shelter
    4701 Greenspring Avenue
  • Fairfield Inn-Pinderhughes Women’s Shelter
    101 S. President Street
  • Sarah’s Hope Family Shelter
    1114 N. Mount Street
  • MOHS Outreach Office
    7 E. Redwood Street
  • People Encouraging People
    4201 Primrose Avenue 
  • Downtown Partnership
    20 S. Charles Street 
  • Generosity Global
    450 N. Front Street

Cooling Centers

The Health Department’s Division of Aging and CARE Services will open the following senior centers* during a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays only.

  • Waxter Center for Senior Citizens
    1000 Cathedral St.
    (410) 396-1324
  • Oliver Center
    1700 Gay St.
    (410) 396-3861
  • Sandtown-Winchester Center
    1601 N. Baker St.
    (410) 396-7725
  • Hatton Center
    2825 Fait Ave.
    (410) 396-9025
  • Zeta Center
    4501 Reisterstown Rd.
    (410) 396-3535
  • Harford Center
    4920 Harford Rd.
    (410) 426-4009

*Baltimore City Health Department Senior Centers are closed on holidays.

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

During periods of extreme heat, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends city residents:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Reduce outdoor activities, particularly in direct sunlight, and stay in air-conditioned locations
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods
  • Check on older, sick, or frail neighbors who may need help responding to the heat

Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which include:

  • Confusion
  • Hot, dry, flushed skin or cool and clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms occur