Giving Blood Need for donations is now critical

Hood River News Editorial

July 9, 2005

Our sympathies go out to the victims of terrorism in London. Our admiration, too, for the way that community responded to horror with relative calm; the stiff upper lip is a human capacity once again exemplified by our cousins in Britain.

Lessons learned from the American response to the Sept. 11 attacks reportedly helped London’s emergency service response on July 6. For what they knew would one day come, they were prepared.

Whether it is for an act of terror, a natural disaster, or day-to-day needs, one way we as Americans can help prepare on a regular basis is by giving blood.

Currently there is a critical blood shortage nationwide. The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent national appeal for blood donations. National blood inventory levels have dropped well below a safe and adequate supply. In order to meet the needs of hospital patients across the nation, the Red Cross is strongly urging anyone who is eligible to give blood, to please schedule an appointment to donate.

Blood donations decline in the summer due to vacations, holidays, and everyone’s busy lifestyles in the warm months.

Unfortunately, injuries and the need for blood do not decrease. Right now, the blood inventory level is so low that patient care may soon be compromised. Some areas of the country have reached a critical low, below a one-day level.

The Red Cross is appealing to all eligible donors to make an appointment and donate. There is a particular interest in type O, Type A negative and Type B negative which are the blood types currently suffering the greatest shortage. Although 60 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, only 5 percent do. Donations are critically needed. Anyone at least 17 years of age, weighing 110 pounds or more and feeling in good health may be eligible to donate.

Local Red Cross Blood drives will be in the area during the month of July. If you are ready to help, listed below are dates and details about upcoming blood drives.

July 18, Bonneville Lock and Dam, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; (541) 374-8344;

July 25, Goldendale, United Methodist Church, 1-6 p.m. (509) 773-4825;

July 26, White Salmon, LDS Church, 1-6 p.m. (509) 493-4355;

July 27, The Dalles, LDS Church, 1-6 p.m., (541) 296-4856;

July 28, Hood River, Elks Lodge, 1-6 p.m., 387-3669.

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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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