09/03/13 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:

·         Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Triton High School in the gymnasium, located at 300 Triton Drive in Bourbon. 

·         Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Argos High School in the gymnasium, located at 500 Yearick Ave. in Argos. 

·         Thursday, Sept. 12, from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in the Hall, located at 901 E. Jefferson St. in Plymouth.

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.