Year's first blood drive will be Jan. 23

The first blood donation opportunity of the new year in Hood River County will be Jan. 23. The American Red Cross holds a donation drive from 1 to 6 p.m. at Nazarene Church, 2168 Belmont Dr.

Healthy adults are encouraged to make an appointment by calling Margo Parker at 387-3669. Eligible donors must be 17 or older, weigh at least 105 pounds, and be in good general health.

Due to the shortage of lifesaving O negative and A negative blood, the American Red Cross issued a Red Alert starting Jan. 9.

Officials at the Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services (PNWRBS) headquarters in Portland are asking citizens with these blood types to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE as soon as possible to set up a donation appointment. The calls will automatically be picked up in the area where the call is made so that potential donors are referred to the Red Cross donation site nearest them.

The Red Cross' Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services provides blood to more than 80 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Southeast Alaska. On Jan. 8, shelves were stocked with enough blood to cover routine uses for the next three days.

"The holidays took a toll on our collection efforts," said Joan Manning, executive director for the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services.

Under Red Alert, the Red Cross must fill blood orders at a reduced rate as low as 50 per cent, requiring physicians to prioritize the need for blood transfusions for their patients.

One donation can help a patient with acute blood loss resulting from trauma or surgery (red blood cells), an individual with leukemia (platelets) and someone who has had a liver transplant (plasma). Patients who benefit most from transfusions of red blood cells include those with chronic anemia resulting from disorders such as kidney failure, malignancies or gastrointestinal bleeding and those with acute blood loss resulting from trauma or surgery.

Citizens who are in good health, are 17 years old or older and weigh at least 105 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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