Photo by Ken Marshall/Flickr Creative Commons.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa issued an extreme heat alert for Aug. 4, the second such alert for the city this season.

The city previously declared its first extreme heat alert of the season last month, with the alert period ultimately lasting five days.

The health commissioner can declare an extreme heat alert when heat is “severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore residents.

The heat index – how hot it feels based on air temperature and relative humidity – is forecast to surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Baltimore region.

“Excessive heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States,” Dzirasa said in a statement. “The effects of extreme heat are exacerbated in urban areas, especially when combined with high humidity and poor air quality. Extreme heat is particularly dangerous for young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. I encourage all residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves as well as their families, neighbors, and pets.”

Cooling centers will be open at the following locations, days and times:

  • ShopRite Howard Park, 4601 Liberty Heights Ave., Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library branches during local branch’s regular hours
  • Harford Senior Center, 4920 Harford Road, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 410-426-4009
  • Hatton Senior Center, 2825 Fait Ave., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 410-396-9025
  • Sandtown Winchester Senior Center, 1601 Baker St., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 410-396-7724
  • Oliver Senior Center, 1700 N Gay St., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 410-396-3861
  • Zeta Center for Health and Active Aging, 4501 Reisterstown Road, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 410-396-3535
  • My Sisters Place Women’s Center (women and children only), 17 W. Franklin St., Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Manna House, 435 E. 25th St., Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Beans & Bread, 402 S. Bond St., Thursday, 9 a.m. 1 p.m.
  • Franciscan Center, 101 W. 23rd St., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Brooklyn Homes, 4140 10th St., Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cherry Hill Homes, 2700 Spelman Road, Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When visiting a cooling center, residents should wear a face mask.

Residents should not visit a cooling center if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Look out for symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which include confusion; nausea; lightheadedness; high body temperature with cool and clammy skin; hot, dry, flushed skin; rapid or slowed heartbeat.

Call 911 if you or someone you know are having a heat-related emergency or experiencing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

To prevent a heat-related emergency, drink water regularly; avoid drink alcohol and caffeine; limit time outside, especially during the hottest part of the day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; spend time in air-conditioned areas; check on older, sick and otherwise vulnerable family, friends and neighbors; and do not leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles for any amount of time or outside for extended periods of time.

Call 311 for more information about cooling centers.

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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