As heat wave continues and steep rise in humidity, Maryland declares a State of Preparedness

20 June 2024- Governor Wes Moore this morning signed a State of Preparedness declaration ahead of a potentially hazardous heat wave with dangerously high temperatures for much of Maryland. According to the National Weather Service, record high temperatures are expected Friday through Sunday, with increasing humidity during that time, which requires heightened awareness and preparedness from Marylanders and those visiting our State.

“The health and safety of Marylanders is our top priority. By declaring a State of Preparedness, I am directing the Department of Emergency Management to coordinate the comprehensive preparation of State government ahead of potential impacts because of the extreme heat and humidity,” said Gov. Moore. “Please remain vigilant, stay hydrated, and remain in cool locations as much as possible, and please check on vulnerable family members and friends.”

In November, Governor Moore signed an executive order establishing a State of Preparedness, which enhanced the state’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively to potential hazards and threats in advance of an actual disaster. The order directs the Department of Emergency Management to coordinate the comprehensive preparation of state government ahead of potential impacts from hazards or threats, providing a vital layer of protection for Marylanders without necessitating a State of Emergency. 

According to the National Weather Service, Marylanders can expect the following during this period:

  • High temperatures in the mid to upper 90s each afternoon east of the Alleghenies, possibly approaching 100F. Peak heat indices between 100-105 possible.
  • High temperatures in the mid to upper 80s for the Alleghenies.
  • Prolonged heat and humidity will increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working outdoors or participating in outdoor activities.

Preparedness Recommendations:

  • Never leave infants, children or pets inside a parked vehicle.
  • Increase fluid intake, regardless of activity level. Don’t wait until thirsty to drink fluids; drink more liquid than one’s thirst indicates.
  • Avoid “heat hangover.” Continue to drink fluids even after strenuous activity. This will enable the body to maintain optimum hydration, and help prevent the after effects of heat exposure such as headaches and fatigue.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar, as they dehydrate the body.
  • Avoid very cold beverages as they may cause stomach cramps.
  • Limit exercise or outdoor activity between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its peak intensity. If active during this time frame, drink a minimum of 16 to 32 ounces of water each hour. 
  • Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may increase the risk of heat related illness. Consult your physician if you have questions.
  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15. Apply at least 30 minutes before going outdoors, and re-apply as necessary.
  • Rest frequently in shady areas so that the body’s temperature has a chance to recover.
  • If unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, gradually increase the pace and limit exercise or work time.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing; sunglasses to protect the eyes; and a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade and keep the head cool.
  • Know where your local cooling centers are located.

“Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. “We want all Marylanders to have the information they need to stay safe and cool this summer. As this heat wave continues, take extra precautions to avoid overheating and check on friends and neighbors that may be susceptible to the heat, especially the elderly.”