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My Town: Prepare for disaster by making a life-saving donation
My Town: Prepare for disaster by making a life-saving donation


LANSING, Mich.—The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe 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 Todd Kulman, Communications Manager for the Great Lakes 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 Kulman. “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.

To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The following is a list of blood drives in your area through Oct. 1:

  • Sept. 3, 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.  Herrick District Library, Holland
  • Sept. 4, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. First Baptist Church of Spring Lake
  • Sept. 5, 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Intersection Ministries, Holland
  • Sept. 8, 12 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Second Reformed Church, Grand Haven
  • Sept. 9, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Otsego Public Library
  • Sept. 11, 12:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Elhart Nissan, Holland
  • Sept. 12, 10 a.m. -5:45 p.m. North Ottawa Community Hospital, Grand Haven
  • Sept. 12, 11:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church, Hudsonville
  • Sept. 15, 12 p.m. -5:45 p.m. Third Reformed Church, Holland
  • Sept. 16, 10:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. American Red Cross, Grand Rapids
  • Sept. 17, 11:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Grand Valley State University Kirkhof Center, Allendale
  • Sept. 18, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Griswold Auditorium, Allegan
  • Sept. 18, 1 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Intersection Ministries, Holland
  • Sept. 22, 12:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Coopersville United Methodist Church
  • Sept. 22, 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Davenport University, Kentwood
  • Sept. 22, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Hope College Maas Center, Holland
  • Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m.- 5:15 p.m. Allegan General Hospital
  • Sept. 24, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Cornerstone University, 1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Sept. 24, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. United Church of Wayland
  • Sept. 25, 11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. American Legion, Allegan
  • Sept. 25, 1 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. St. Stanislaus Catholic School, Dorr
  • Sept. 26, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Central Park Reformed Church, Holland
  • Sept. 29, 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Fennville Community Athletic Center
  • Sept. 30, 11:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. American Red Cross, Holland

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 some states), 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 Great Lakes Blood Services Region serves 65 counties, and needs to collect about 650 units of blood a day to meet patient need in hospitals. In addition to supplying about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.