The Health Commissioner declares a Code Blue Alert during periods of extreme cold weather. Code Blue is a multi-agency effort to reduce hypothermia deaths during the winter months by protecting our City's homeless, seniors and other vulnerable populations.
The decision to activate a Code Blue Alert will be made by 5:00 p.m. on the previous business day and by 5:00 p.m. on Friday before the weekend in which extreme winter weather is forecasted.
Individuals unsure of whether a Code Blue Alert is in effect can call 311 for details. 311 operators will provide emergency shelter locations, safety tips and information about extreme-cold related illness and risk factors.
Individuals can also call 311 to report specific concerns about vulnerable neighbors during Code Blue Alerts. Call 911 if you are having a cold-related emergency.
A Code Blue declaration triggers several responses aimed at providing shelter and services for those most susceptible to extreme cold weather:
- The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services will operate a 24-hour Housing & Resource Center for men and women at 620 Fallsway with 60 beds available for residents seeking meals and sleeping quarters.
- Private homeless shelters will be encouraged to extend their hours and keep people indoors.
- Additional cold weather education and outreach efforts, as needed.
Those without home heating are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia and other cold-related health problems. Baltimore City health care providers can request energy assistance referral forms for their patients by calling 410-396-CARE (2273).
Cold Weather Tips
- Protecting Children During Winter Storms –Tips From the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Extreme Cold: A CDC Prevention Guide To Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
- Extreme Cold In Maryland – DHMH Resources & Information
- General Emergency Information for Seniors
- Red Cross Winter Storm Safety
- Red Cross Winter Storm Safety - Spanish
- CDC tips on how to “Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter”
- Sign up for Health Department updates on Code Blue days or other news.
- Call 311 for up-to-the-minute details during emergencies.
- Follow us on Twitter
- “Cold Weather Tips” from the ASPCA
- Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather
- Cold Weather Pet Safety
Free, Printable Fliers for Distribution:
Pet Care Cold Weather Tips