Blood Donations Key to National Preparedness Month

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: August 16, 2011

RedCrossLogoThe 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 Sharyn Whitman, CEO 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 care. 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 Whitman. “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.

Come to donate through September 11 and be entered into a region-wide drawing to win free gas for a year ($3000 gift card).

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Friday, Sept. 2, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Porter Hospital Valparaiso Campus in the Patio Room, located at 814 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Sept. 2, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Porter County Career Center in the Health Education Classrooms, located at 1005 N. Franklin St. in Valparaiso.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Duneland Health and Wellness in the Fitness Center, located at 810 Michael Drive in Chesterton.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Boys & Girls Club of Porter County in the gymnasium, located at 5895 Evergreen in Portage.
  • Friday, Sept. 9, 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. 11, from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Life Bridge Christian Church, located at 62 S. Valparaiso St. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and be entered into a region-wide drawing to win free gas for a year ($3000 gift card). 
  • Monday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the Social Hall, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage.
  • Monday, Sept. 12, from noon to 6 p.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in the Social Hall, located at 1855 W. Harrison Blvd. in Valparaiso.
  • Tuesday, 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.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 202 W. Church St. in Hebron.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14, from noon until 6 p.m. at Valparaiso University in Harre Union Ballrooms B & C, located at 1509 Campus Drive in Valparaiso. Please go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “valpo” to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Thursday, Sept. 15, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Indiana University Northwest, located at 5916 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage. Please email Nporras@iun.edu to schedule your blood donation appointment.

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 more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.