Winter Weather and Giving Blood

When snow and ice hits, it impacts just about everyone in the area. For those of you who were stuck in traffic last night, that message was clear. One might ask, how does this type of weather affect the blood supply?

Since the Red Cross Blood Services plays a major role in the local health care system, the policy is to maintain operations to the highest degree possible no matter what happens. Major weather events often are linked to decreases in donations, as it may be unsafe to travel or incredibly inconvenient. At the same time, these major weather events are when demand tends to be the greatest as injuries are on the rise. If you are a blood donor with an appointment during one of these weather events, please exercise caution and use your best judgment when traveling. A large majority of drives tend to maintain their schedule, however if you are curious as to the status of a drive you may call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE for an update.

Last year Portland faced a major ice storm event between December 14th and 25th. At times major highways were impassible, public transit operated on limited schedules, and secondary streets were largely uncleared. I was actually in Bend during that ice storm (which faired better than the valley) and received quite the surprise when one of the family showed up for the holidays wearing a ‘Be Nice to Me’ sticker. Unfortunately, that was a token donation as the region’s supply significantly declined during that period of time. However, thanks to an amazing showing by donors and staff, extra drives were held following the storm to help the blood supply rebound.

When these major weather events happen, keep the Red Cross in your thoughts for blood donations. If you can donate it is greatly appreciated, and if you can’t because of the weather try to schedule an appointment soon after the storm passes.

(Photo of stuck bus, Micheal Rollins via KGW)