After disaster strikes, the affected community often has a number of immediate needs. In addition to food, clothing, shelter and medical care, communities affected by disasters often need something that is currently in short supply: blood.
Having spent more than 35 years in local emergency services in Boston, I can tell you first hand that a strong local blood supply is a critical component to ensuring that first responders and medical staff can help those who have immediate medical needs during an emergency. The need is real, the need is now.
The American Red Cross, one of the members of the emergency management team, is one avenue where you can donate blood. They posted the following on their blog:
"We’ve often talked about our 3 steps to preparedness: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed. These steps go a long way towards keeping you and your family safe, but there’s another step that you can take to help keep your entire community safe: Give Blood.
Imagine the surge of need for blood when a disaster strikes. In order to help immediately after a disaster, the Red Cross uses blood that is already on the shelves to support disaster victims. Without a regular flow of donations, this supply may not be readily available. Additionally, accident victims, transplant and cancer patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment. If collections are impacted by a disaster, their long-term care needs could be affected."
What other ways can you help your community prepare before a disaster strikes? Leave a comment and share your idea.
Other organizations, in addition to the American Red Cross, accept blood donations, including: United Blood Services and America’s Blood Centers.