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Heat Leads County to Open Cooling Centers, BGE Prepares for Possible Outages

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company anticipates increases in electric usage as heat wave continues across central Maryland and urges customers to conserve.

The National Weather Service issued an "Excessive Heat Watch" in the region for Wednesday into Thursday.

These heat warnings include Anne Arundel County, where temperatures are expected in the high 90s, with a heat index rating exceeding 100 degrees.

Please check on neighbors, especially those who do not have air conditioning, are very young, elderly or have health issues.

While the heat wave is settled over Maryland, the county government will open cooling centers throughout Anne Arundel County.

Nearby, those who need to seek reprieve from the heat Thursday and Friday can visit the , Pasadena or O'Malley senior centers between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities will provide van service to and from all cooling centers between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to any county resident who needs transportation, according to a press release from fire spokesman Chief Michael Cox. Residents seeking transportation can call 410-222-4826.  

After 4:30 p.m., community rooms in the police stations in Brooklyn Park, Pasadena and Odenton will be open and available to those who need to cool off until 11 p.m.

In the press release, Cox offered the following tips to help deal with the heat:

  • Limit outside activities to early morning and early evening, when temperatures are the lowest.
  • Limit exercise regiment, listen to your body and moderate your activity accordingly. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best, non-alcoholic beverages are good. Alcoholic beverages dehydrate the body and are counterproductive.
  • When possible, stay out of direct sunlight and wear sunscreen. During the hottest times of the day, spend time in air conditioned spaces—such as: libraries, shopping malls and movie theaters.
  • If air conditioning is not available, take cool baths or showers to help cool down during the hottest times of the day.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, dress for summer. 
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a car.  In a very short period of time, the temperature inside a vehicle can exceed 150 degrees.
  • Children, the elderly and those people with chronic ailments are usually the first to feel the effects of episodes of high heat and humidity. Use care in planning activities with these groups, regularly check on elderly neighbors.

Additionally, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) issued a warning for potential blackouts due to high electric usage. The power company said that they "expect to have enough power to meet customer demand" and are taking steps to limit the duration of power outages.

BGE suggests the follow steps to help reduce power usage:

  • Closing curtains and blinds to keep the sun outside
  • Setting thermostats at 78 degrees or higher if health allows
  • Delaying use of major, heat-generating household appliances, such as ovens, stoves, dishwashers and dryers, until after 9 p.m. when the temperature begins to drop
  • Turning off non-essential appliances, electronics and other devices powered by electricity
  • Visiting the Summer Ready section of BGE’s website for helpful information on energy usage during the summer months
  • Enrolling in Budget Billing to avoid seasonal spikes in energy usage
  • Enrolling in BGE’s PeakRewards program to receive summertime bill credits of up to $200 in the first year of participation. Select the programmable thermostat option for even more energy management tools.

Editor's note: This article was updated to provide information about bus transportation to and from senior centers.

Glen Burnie Patch Editor Maya T. Prabhu, Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch Editor Mitchelle Stephenson and Severna Park Patch Editor Leslie Hunt contributed to this report.

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