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Dear American Red Cross Blood Donors:

We wish to thank each of you for your generous support of the American Red Cross and its mission to provide an adequate supply of safe blood products to our community.

In an effort to better meet the needs of our donors, we have implemented an appointment priority system that will be utilized at all future blood drives. This system will allow us to better serve those donors who have scheduled an appointment to donate by honoring that appointment as soon as possible after the donor's arrival at the bloodmobile site. Walk-in donors will continue to be accepted as the schedule allows, but may be asked to wait until scheduled donors have been helped.

Unfortunately, in the past, long lines and lengthy waits have resulted when a large number of donors without appointments presented to donate. In those cases, many donors with scheduled appointments were inconvenienced, as their appointment time was not honored. The American Red Cross is committed to valuing each donors time and request that all donors make an appointment whenever possible.

Here are drives in your area occurring in March:

Hood River Armory, March 27 from 1 to 6 p.m. Please call Margo Parker at 541-387-3669 to schedule your appointment.

St. Peter's Catholic Church, The Dalles, March 26 from 1 to 6 p.m. Please call Linda Holcomb at 541-296-9633 to schedule your appointment.

Again, we appreciate all of our faithful donors that help us meet our mission to save lives every day! We look forward to seeing you at the blood drive.

Jon E. Rabe

American Red Cross Consultant

Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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