Staying Safe in the Cold
It’s important to be prepared for winter weather, with cold temperatures and snow and ice.
Learn more about how to prepare for winter weather with tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Remember to heat your home safely, and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by installing detectors and following these CDC Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips.
Carroll County Cold Weather Resources
When very cold weather is expected, Carroll County’s Department of Citizens Services offers six warming centers:
The county’s five senior centers are open to the general public, regardless of age, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. For more information on the Senior Centers, call 410-386-3800.
- Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy
- North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Hampstead
- South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg
- Taneytown Senior and Community Center, 220 Roberts Mill Road, Taneytown
- Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster
The Citizens Services Office Building at 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster, is also open to the public from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday. This building houses Human Services Programs, Citizens Services, and Access Carroll.
The Carroll County Public Library branches are open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 8:45 PM, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Sundays from 1:00 – 5:00 PM. For more information, call 410-386-4488.
- Eldersburg Branch Carroll County Public Library, 6400 Hemlock Drive, Eldersburg
- Finksburg Branch Carroll County Public Library, 2265 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg
- Mount Airy Branch Carroll County Public Library, 705 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy
- North Carroll Branch Carroll County Public Library, 2255 Hanover Pike, Greenmount
- Taneytown Branch Carroll County Public Library, 10 Grand Drive, Taneytown
- Westminster Branch Carroll County Public Library, 50 East Main Street, Westminster
Be aware that all of the above locations may be closed for holidays, severe weather, or other building issues.
Other Warming Places
There are other places you can go to warm up:
- Stores, malls, restaurants
- Movie Theaters
- Neighbor’s home
Cold Weather Shelter
Cold Weather Shelter – night only Carroll County has a cold weather shelter for adults who are homeless. It operates from mid-November through the end of March. Human Services Programs (HSP) of Carroll County runs the shelter at 127 Stoner Avenue, Westminster, from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. every night. When additional space is needed, the Westminster Rescue Mission and the Westminster Senior Center are used.
Anyone using the Cold Weather Shelter needs to complete an intake process, so they are encouraged to call HSP to schedule an appointment. The number is 410-857-2999. If they are unable to do that prior to needing shelter, they may show up at the shelter at 7PM. They will have to complete forms and they will be encouraged to go to HSP to complete the intake process on the next business day.
On Our Own – day only During the day, including some holidays, On Our Own provides a Cold Shelter, at 265 E. Main Street, Westminster. Call 410-751-6600 or visit http://www.onourownofcarrollcounty.org/ for more information and hours.
County residents should be aware of cold weather and be prepared for emergencies.
- Check these places regularly for weather and other important information:
- Local radio stations: WTTR 1470 AM, 100.7 WGRX FM, 97.9 WIYY FM, 1090 WBAL AM
- Local TV stations WMAR 2, WBAL 11, WJZ 13, Channel 19, Channel 24, and WBFF 45
- Web: http://ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/, cchd.maryland.gov
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CCOPSSS, https://www.facebook.com/CarrollCountyHealthDeptMD
- Twitter: @CCOPSSS, @CarrollCoMD
- Have a kit with a flashlight, radio, water, food, and extra medicine.
- Be sure you have enough fuel to warm your home.
- Check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
- Make plans on where you will go if you lose heat or power.
- Keep pets inside and include them in your plans.
Power Outages / Energy Assistance
- If your power goes out, report it to your power company.
- BGE: 877-778-2222, bge.com
- Potomac Edison: 888-544-4877, https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/potomac_edison.html
- If you need help paying your energy bills, call Human Services Programs at 410-857-2999. They will help you apply for programs that can help you.
It is best to come in before your fuel is empty or your electricity is shut off, because they can help you prevent that from happening. However, if there is an emergency and you have no fuel or electricity, call or come to HSP between 8:00 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday through Friday, for help. They are located at 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster.
Some other smaller organizations in Carroll County may also have funds to help you pay energy bills. However, it is best to start at HSP, because they work with other agencies as well.
Older and disabled adults may also work with the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities to apply for assistance. They can be reached at 410-386-3800.
For more information on HSP’s energy assistance program: http://www.hspinc.org/energyassistance/ HSP also has programs to help with security deposits, evictions, and water turn-off notices.
- If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
- If you have a critical need during a community emergency such as a severe storm, call the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 888-5 GET-EOC. The EOC is only open during community emergencies.
- If you have a critical need that is not a life-threatening emergency, call the Emergency Communications Center at 410-386-2260 for assistance.