|Health Commissioner Wen Declares Code Blue Alert for Tuesday Night
In advance of expected low temperatures tonight, Dr. Wen encourages Baltimore residents to limit outdoor exposure
|BALTIMORE, MD (January 12, 2016)– With overnight temperatures predicted to fall into the teens with wind chill, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today issued a Code Blue declaration for Baltimore City overnight.
“I am issuing a Code Blue Declaration tonight in Baltimore and encourage residents to stay in indoors, especially those most vulnerable to cold,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Extreme cold temperatures can permanently injure, or even kill. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be just as dangerous as extreme heat, so it is important to stay indoors in heated areas. Be sure to check on your elderly neighbors to ensure that they have heat and power tonight.”
The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Blue alert when temperatures, including wind chill, are expected to be 13˚F or below or when other conditions are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore citizens.
Code Blue indicates an increased risk for cold injuries or even death for those exposed to low temperatures. Once a Code Blue declaration is made, public messaging activities are undertaken to encourage safety when outdoors and response partners work to ensure those in need find sheltering. During the Code Blue season, which began November 16, 2015 and lasts until March 15, 2016, City agencies work together to:
Throughout the Code Blue season, The Mayor’s Office of Human Services’ Office of Homeless Services also works with city homeless shelter providers to extend shelter hours and to provide expanded bed capacity. Last winter, the state Medical Examiner’s office recorded 12 hypothermia-related deaths in Baltimore City.
Cold Weather Tips for Staying Healthy:
Other Tips For Keeping Safe in Cold Weather:
Residents are encouraged to contact 311 if a neighbor is without heat or power so that city agencies can assist them. Energy assistance may be available to those who need it. For more information, individuals may contact one of the regional Community Action Partnership centers in Baltimore or call the Office of Home Energy Programs at 410-396-5555.
For more information about Code Blue, visit the Health Department’s Website atwww.health.baltimorecity.gov.
For other cold-related inquiries and service requests, or to find a nearby homeless shelter, residents can call 311 or 211.