Thermometer. Photo by OliBac.

As temperatures are expected to dwindle to the single digits this weekend, Baltimore City will be under an extreme cold alert Friday evening into Saturday morning.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa on Thursday declared a Code Blue Extreme Cold alert for late Friday and early Saturday.

The health commissioner may issue such an alert if temperatures, including wind chill, are anticipated to drop to 13 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, or if there are severe conditions that pose a “substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore citizens,” according to city officials.

“With dangerously cold temperatures expected in Baltimore, I am issuing a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration beginning Friday evening,” Dzirasa said in a statement. “I encourage residents to stay indoors, especially those most vulnerable to cold. 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.”

Already this Code Blue Extreme Cold season, which began Nov. 15 and will continue until March 15, the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has reported that 15 people have died in Baltimore City from cold-related conditions.

During an extreme cold weather event like this weekend, residents are urged to wear multiple, loose-fitting layers, as well a hat, scarf or other head covering when going outside. When outdoors, residents should avoid icy patches and walk slowly.

Health officials also urge individuals to drink water and other hydrating fluids regularly while avoiding alcoholic beverages. Check on vulnerable individuals, including children and elderly and/or chronically ill neighbors, and bring pets indoors.

If using space heaters or candles, keep them away from curtains, furniture, loose clothing, and other flammable materials.

Ensure that your carbon monoxide detector is working.

Do not use stoves or generators inside of your home as heat or power sources, and do not leave your car running in your garage or other closed space, because they can cause fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

For assistance with energy expenses, residents can call the Energy Assistance Program at 410-396-5555 or visit their website; or call Maryland Access Point at 410-396-CARE.

Residents can also call the Weatherization Assistance Program at 410-396-3023 or visit their website for help with installing products to weatherize their home to lower energy costs.

Residents seeking a nearby homeless shelter or for answers to other cold-related inquiries and service requests can call 311 or 211.

More information about the city’s Code Blue Extreme Cold Plan can be found on the health department’s website.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at

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