Baltimore City's health commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, has declared a Code Blue alert and announced that 10 emergency shelters will extend their hours.
Anticipating plummeting temperatures, the city issued the alert Saturday and urged the city's homeless and those living without heat to retreat to the 10 emergency shelters. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will be in the high 30s today, dipping to the mid- to low 20s tonight.
City officials announce a Code Blue when temperatures are expected to be below 25 degrees with winds of 15 miles per hour or higher or during other periods of intense winter weather.
The health department in a news release also reminded residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from using a generator in an enclosed space and of burns caused by alternate heating methods. For information on energy assistance, contact the Office of Home Energy at 410-396-5555.
Here are the 10 cold weather shelters receiving residents tonight:
Main City Shelter, which accepts men and women, is located at 210 Guilford Ave. and will be open around the clock. The American Rescue Workers, which accepts men only, is located at 1401 Hanover St. and will open its doors between 4:30 and 6 p.m. today and will stay open until 7:30 a.m. Monday.
The Baltimore Rescue Mission, which accepts men and women, is located at 4 N. Central Ave. and will open around 5 p.m. today and stay open until around 7 a.m. Monday. The Helping Up Mission, a male-only shelter at 1017 E. Baltimore St., will open between 3 and 6 p.m. today. MCVETS shelter, at 301 N. High St., will open to men between 1 and 4 p.m. The Prisoners' Aid shelter, at 310 E. Lanvale St., will open to men at around 6 p.m. today.
Shelters that will be open for 24 hours are The Christ Lutheran Place, at 701 S. Charles St.; the Salvation Army, at 1114 N. Calvert St.; and the Mount Street/Sarah's Hope shelter, at 1114 Mount St.
Karis Home, at 1228 E. Baltimore St., will be open between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
The city health department issued the following cold-weather tips:
•Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.
•When outdoors, always wear a head covering, such as a hat or scarf.
•Keep space heaters and candles away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture and loose clothing.
•Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages.
•Check on those who are elderly and/or chronically ill.
•Provide appropriate shelter for domestic animals.