imagesThe American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help their communities prepare for emergencies by giving blood during National Preparedness Month this September.

Becoming a regular blood donor is one way to help ensure communities are prepared for any emergency, including those where blood transfusions are needed. The Red Cross also encourages the public to get prepared by making a disaster plan for their homes or work places.

A sufficient blood supply is central to ensuring hospitals are prepared to meet patient needs in times of disaster, including the very personal ones that can happen any day. Because blood takes about 48 hours to be tested, processed and made available for patients, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can help save the day when emergencies occur.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for patients needing transfusions. The Red Cross needs blood donors of all types – especially those with types AB, O negative, B negative and A negative – to give blood regularly.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For information on planning for emergencies and preparedness training, visit redcross.org/prepare.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Gallipolis

9/19/2015: 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., River of Life United Methodist Church, 35 Hillview Dr

9/30/2015: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Holzer Medical Center, 100 Jackson Pike

Rio Grande

9/30/2015: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., University of Rio Grande Davis University Center, College Drive