Fort Wayne, IN— September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross encourages individuals to take action to plan and prepare for an emergency and to donate blood.
“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s and an individual’s best defense,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for Indiana-Ohio Region and Western Lake Erie Region Blood Services.
“Supporting Red Cross blood donation or giving blood is also critical to community preparedness since hospitals need blood to respond to patient need,” Whitman said. “The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.”
The Red Cross recommends three simple actions to prepare for weather-related disaster events and emergencies such as a house fire: get a kit, make a plan and be informed. “Everyone needs to have a plan; waiting until disaster strikes is too late,” Whitman added.
All blood types are needed daily, but type O negative, as the universal blood type, is frequently in high demand.
More information including smart phone apps, tools and a family disaster plan template are available at the Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/nationalpreparednessmonth.
Residents have the opportunity to donate at these local blood drives:
•Friday, Sept. 6, from noon until 5 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church in the Foyer, located at 701 S. Defiance St. in Stryker.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossIO.