BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As temperatures continue to drop, the Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner issued a Code Blue Extreme Cold alert for the City this Thanksgiving.
Code Blue Extreme Cold is an effort to reduce hypothermia deaths this winter by protecting vulnerable populations from extreme cold weather.
“Extreme cold temperatures can permanently injure, or even kill,” said Interim Health Commissioner Mary Haller. “Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be just as dangerous as extreme heat, so it is important to stay indoors in heated areas.”
The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert when temperatures, including wind chill, are expected to be 13 degrees Fahrenheit or when other conditions are severe enough to present a substantial threat to Baltimore citizens.
Baltimore saw 20 Code Blue days last winter, with the state Medical Examiner’s office recording 21 cold-related deaths in the city.
Most of those who are considered vulnerable to cold-related deaths include the elderly, people with pre-existing heart conditions, substance abusers, and the homeless.
During a Code Blue day, city agencies work to distribute meals to at-risk senior citizens, provide home weatherization services, and other cold-weather education and outreach efforts.
Officials recommend wearing multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing, always keeping your head covered with a hat or scarf when outside, and checking in on those who are most vulnerable.
Extreme Cold season started Nov. 15 and lasts until March 19, 2019.