Where to stay warm this win­ter in Bal­ti­more County

The Avenue News - - EDITORIAL -

If you are look­ing for ac­cess to wa­ter and bath­rooms in a warm en­vi­ron­ment, Bal­ti­more County has sev­eral “warm­ing cen­ters” avail­able where you can get re­lief from the cold.

Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Li­brary has 19 con­ve­nient branches that are open Mon­day through Thurs­day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri­day and Satur­day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sun­day from 1 to 5 p.m. Res­i­dents can warm up while read­ing a book or en­joy­ing sched­uled events at a branch in their com­mu­nity. For more in­for­ma­tion and the lo­ca­tion near­est you, visit the Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Li­brary.

Bal­ti­more County Se­nior Cen­ters are also open to the gen­eral pub­lic, re­gard­less of age, Mon­day through Fri­day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Res­i­dents who visit these lo­ca­tions to get re­lief from the cold can watch TV, read a book or sit and re­lax. For in­for­ma­tion on the 20 Se­nior Cen­ters, call 410-887-2594.

Other “Warm­ing” Places

Other places you can go to warm up in Bal­ti­more County in­clude:

• Com­mu­nity cen­ters • Churches

• Malls

• Movie the­aters • Mu­se­ums

• Neigh­bor’s home with

heat

• Restau­rants

• Overnight Shel­ters Bal­ti­more County has four fa­cil­i­ties that pro­vide emer­gency shel­ter for peo­ple who would oth­er­wise be home­less. These shel­ters are: • East­side Fam­ily Shel­ters (women with chil­dren and sin­gle men)— Rosedale

• Han­nah More Shel­ter (women and chil­dren)—Reis­ter­stown • Night of Peace Overnight Shel­ter (fam­i­lies with chil­dren)—Ran­dall­stown

• West­side Men’s Shel­ter (men

Freez­ing Weather Shel­ter

From Novem­ber 1 to April 15, the County also has tem­po­rary freez­ing weather shel­ters (PDF) at the Eastern Fam­ily Re­source Cen­ter and the West­side Men’s Shel­ter, which are ac­ti­vated on nights when tem­per­a­tures reach 32 de­grees or lower and there are no avail­able beds in the other home­less shel­ters.

Peo­ple who are seek­ing ac­cess to the shel­ters listed above must be re­ferred to those fa­cil­i­ties by a qual­i­fied place­ment agency. Call 410887-TIME (8463) if you are seek­ing shel­ter for your­self or to aid an­other per­son.

Cold Weather Re­minders

The com­bi­na­tion of low tem­per­a­tures and wind chill con­sti­tute a threat, es­pe­cially to cer­tain groups of peo­ple: older adults, chil­dren and peo­ple with res­pi­ra­tory or other health prob­lems. If you are in dan­ger or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing se­vere health prob­lems due to the weather, please call 911. Be­low are some tips to help you and your fam­ily get re­lief from the cold and stay safe.

Be Cau­tious and Pre­pared! only)—Ca­tonsville • Make sure that you

have a 72-hour kit. • Check on those who are el­derly and/or chron­i­cally ill.

• Keep in­fants in a warm room since they lose heat eas­ily.

• Cold weather puts an ex­tra strain on the heart. If you have heart dis­ease or high blood pres­sure, fol­low your doc­tor’s ad­vice about ex­er­cis­ing or work­ing in the cold.

• If you are hik­ing, camp­ing or ski­ing dur­ing cold weather, avoid be­com­ing over­tired. Be ex­tremely care­ful when walk­ing in icy ar­eas. Many cold-weather in­juries re­sult from falls on ice-cov­ered paths.

Eat Right

• Eat­ing well-bal­anced meals will help you stay warmer.

• Do not drink al­co­holic or caf­feinated bev­er­ages—they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.

• Drink warm bev­er­ages or broth to help main­tain your body tem­per­a­ture. If you have any di­etary re­stric­tions, con­sult with your doc­tor.

Dress Warmly and Stay Dry • Adults and

should wear:

• A hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth

• Sleeves that are snug at

the wrist

• Mit­tens (they are warmer than gloves) • Wa­ter-re­sis­tant coat and

boots

• Sev­eral lay­ers of loos­e­fit­ting cloth­ing if you are go­ing to be out­side Don’t Leave Your Pets Out­doors

Dur­ing ex­treme weather, bring your pets in­doors and pro­vide them with ad­e­quate food and wa­ter.

Re­mem­ber to have an chil­dren emer­gency plan for your pet too. Most shel­ters do not al­low pets.

Pre­vent the Spread of Colds and Flu

• Get a flu shot.

• Wash your hands for at least 20 sec­onds with warm, soapy wa­ter. And thor­oughly scrub hands, wrists, fin­ger­nails and between fin­gers.

• Avoid close con­tact with peo­ple who are sick with colds or flu.

• If you get sick, stay home to avoid spread­ing it to oth­ers.

• Avoid crowded places

wher­ever pos­si­ble.

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