The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe the Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month this September by doing simple things that make a difference when every second counts.
The Red Cross recommends three things most everyone can do to prepare for disasters or other emergencies: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.
“The beauty is, those steps can be taken in advance, helping most everyone to be prepared,” said Tracy Duncan, Communications Manager for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.
Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also critical to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient need. Hospital patients need about 40,000 blood donations each day for ongoing or emergency medical needs. And when adequate supplies of blood are available every day of every week, the Red Cross can help ensure a swift response when and if blood needs intensify.
Blood is typically available to patients 24 to 48 hours from the point of donation because of the various steps involved in testing, processing, and distributing components like red cells, platelets and plasma. While many people roll up their sleeves during times of disaster, the key to a strong blood supply, Red Cross officials say, are steady and consistent donations throughout the year.
“It’s human nature to want to help when disasters strike,” said Duncan. “By taking some precautionary steps today—like donating blood—you’ll be helping, too, since you’re empowering yourself and our nation to face the unexpected.”
For more information on being Red Cross Ready and for preparedness fast facts, visit redcross.org.
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Tuesday, Sept. 4, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Franciscan Omni Health & Fitness in the Fitness Center, located at 810 Michael Drive in Chesterton.
- Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First Christian Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 1507 Glendale Blvd. in Valparaiso.
Friday, Sept. 7, from noon until 5 p.m. at McAfee Animal Hospital, located at 651 Eastport Centre Drive in Valparaiso.
- Friday, Sept. 7, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Porter Regional Hospital in the Community Room, located at 85 East US Highway 6. in Valparaiso.
- Monday, Sept. 10, from noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in the Social Hall, located at 1855 W. Harrison Blvd. in Valparaiso.
- Monday, Sept. 10, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County, located at 5895 Evergreen in Portage.
- Tuesday, Sept. 11, from noon until 6 p.m. at Valparaiso University in Harre Union Ballrooms B & C, located at 1509 Campus Drive in Valparaiso. Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $50 shopping spree.
- Thursday, Sept. 13, from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Porter Lakes Elementary School in the Cafeteria, located at 208 South 725 West in Hebron. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
- Thursday, Sept. 13, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Family Video, located at 2502 Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard. Please call 464-4142 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
Friday, Sept. 14, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows in the Mancini Room, located at 356 West 700 North in Valparaiso.
Sunday, Sept. 16, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 at Life Bridge Christian Church, located at 62 S. Valparaiso St. in Valparaiso.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 60 hospitals. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.