Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa issued a Cold Blue Extreme Cold Alert in effect until Wednesday morning as temperatures drop and wind chills are predicted to reach single digits.
This follows the freezing rain Baltimore experienced this past weekend into Monday morning, with temperatures low enough to freeze the rain prompting road crews to be deployed to treat the roads.
The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert when temperatures, including wind chill, are expected to be 13 degrees or below or when other conditions are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore citizens.
“Extreme low temperatures can be life-threatening especially for our most vulnerable populations. Please be sure to check on neighbors who you think may be at risk to ensure that they have heat and power and take care to shelter pets appropriately," Health Commissioner Dzirasa urged during her announcement.
Once a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration is made, City agencies work to:
- Distribute meals to at-risk senior citizens
- Provide home weatherization services
- Help individuals apply for energy assistance
- Provide additional cold weather education and outreach efforts
During this time the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services also works with city homeless shelter providers to extend shelter hours and to provide expanded bed capacity as part of their Winter Shelter Plan.
All city-funded Winter Shelter sites are in effect and will be open until January 12. Emergency shelter is given to all people experiencing homelessness on nights when the temperature with wind chill reaches freezing, which for shelters is considered 32 degrees and below.
The Code Blue Extreme Cold season began November 15, 2021 and will last until March 15, 2022.