For the past several months, teams dedicated to the Baltimore Health and Climate Project have investigated how extreme temperatures can affect the health of Baltimore residents.
These bursts of extreme weather can affect even the most routine activities, like going to school or caring for pets.
Many community activists and groups in Baltimore have used Twitter to help spread information about the adverse effects of extreme temperatures.
"Extreme cold temperatures can permanently injure, or even kill. Check on neighbors that you think may be at risk to ensure that they have heat and power and take care to shelter pets," said Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller. ”https://t.co/1BFMX4di5n— B'more City Health (@BMore_Healthy) January 10, 2019
Baltimore extends its shelter hours in the wake of the Extreme temperatures that have hit the area Reposted from @CouncilmanKB - Due to extremely cold temperatures, the Mayor's Office… https://t.co/JcuYLd0vch— DJ Diamond K (@TheDiamondKShow) January 30, 2019
The first week of 2018 was Baltimore’s coldest start to any year in at least 146 years, according to The Baltimore Sun. The cold weather caught the attention of several news outlets.
With record-breaking low temperatures, children in Baltimore public schools are enduring this extreme cold w/out adequate heating.https://t.co/tSWbOT0D6m— CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 4, 2018
"Kids are freezing": Amid bitter cold, Baltimore schools, students struggle https://t.co/XyNlyyzBL9— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 5, 2018
Baltimore teachers say schools are so cold that students have had to attend class in hats, coats and gloves https://t.co/rgsvs1HeN5— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 5, 2018
Almost all of Baltimore's public schools reopened Monday after a brutal cold snap, rickety heating systems and public outrage forced a city-wide shutdown last week. https://t.co/JcSzKUF7ZZ— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 8, 2018
And sometimes, these cold snaps are a matter of life or death. A 2019 report from the Maryland Department of Health states that there were 7 cold-related deaths in the state from February 5 to 11.
Former NFL player turned Baltimore City art teacher Aaron Maybin talks about how the extreme cold affects his students.
It's really ridiculous the kind of environment we place our children into and expect them to get an education. I got two classes in one room, kids are freezing, Lights are off. No computers. We're doing our best but our kids don't deserve this.— Aaron Maybin (@AaronMMaybin) January 3, 2018
Even with warmer weather approaching, Baltimore residents are not in the clear. Our research suggests that extreme heat is just as harmful as extreme cold.
A Baltimore Sun article reveals that in 2018, extreme heat forced 10 Baltimore County schools to close and more than 60 to be released early.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says it’s “completely unacceptable” that schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County had to close on their first day of school because they are ill-equipped to handle extreme heat. https://t.co/Px7RHkGHBa— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) September 4, 2018
Baltimore is under a Heat Advisory and a Code Red air quality alert today.— BaltimoreDPW (@BaltimoreDPW) August 29, 2018
Stay hydrated during the extreme heat, especially if you work outdoors.
There's plenty of water at the tap! pic.twitter.com/pfammsiEfx
Baltimore Health Commissioner issues Code Red heat alert to remind people to take precautions during the extreme heat that could feel like more than 100 degrees today. Several cooling centers are open for people looking for ways to beat the heat. @WMAR2News pic.twitter.com/MgLEflm8jB— Mark Roper (@MarkRoperTV) July 2, 2018
And temperature affects different parts of the city more extremely than others. For example, the CNS data team found that in 2018 the median temperature of the warmest ZIP code (21202 in downtown Baltimore), was 91 degrees Fahrenheit and the coolest ZIP code 21208 a leafy neighborhood in northwest Baltimore), averaged a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit during the same time frame.
Hospital records in Maryland have also been studied to identify the prevalence of specific health conditions by ZIP code in Baltimore. For example, CNS found that there is a strong relationship between a neighborhood’s temperature and the rate of hospital visits for asthma.
The extreme heat has been a threat to the health of Baltimoreans in the past few summers.
Just spoke with Baltimore Fire Chief. So far today, at least 6 people taken to hospitals because of the heat— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) July 19, 2015
Advocates and groups aren’t the only ones using the platform to speak out. Baltimore residents have also taken to the platform to share their thoughts and concerns during extreme weather events.
.@fema we need your help at 1405 point street in Baltimore. Please send mobile shower buses/ RV's. Pipes bursting, no hot running water. No end in sight. Children forced to shower in public fountains amidst freezing temperatures. Very bad!— Eliano A. Younes (@ElianoY) January 8, 2019
We are not living 100 years ago. We have extreme temperatures throughout the year in our city. Who are these people who don't need hot water and lights? I have yet to meet someone in Baltimore who doesn't want power in their home. This has SLUMLORD written all over it. https://t.co/jhaXmDNtLN— Calvin Hallman Jr (@CalvinHallman) February 12, 2019
Yes hot and humid is the worst cause you feel weak and drinking plenty of cold water don't even help I live in Baltimore and we have been having temperatures up to 105 so I know how you feel— Lillian Davis (@lilliandavis77) July 8, 2018