January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month for over forty years (since 1970). Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to holiday travel schedules, inclement weather and illness and January in particular is a difficult month for blood center blood donations. But according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, if donations are down, the need for blood isn't.
"Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, and approximately 40,000 units of red blood are needed every day," said Murphy. "Donating blood is a safe, life-saving and selfless gift that enhances the level of preparedness for each and every community in this nation."
Few blood centers can maintain more than a three-day supply of blood for transfusions. The need for blood, platelets, and plasma is constant, but only three in every 100 Americans donate blood. So-called "baby boomers" account for the majority of blood donations, but as a demographic are approaching an age when medications and health issues bar them from being able to donate. At the same time, they are the largest age cohort of the world population and require more donated blood for their own health, quickly using much of the supply they once supported themselves.
Resolve to be Ready in 2011 is led by FEMA's Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council. For more information on the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, visit www.fema.gov, Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov. Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. Social media links are provided for reference only. FEMA does not endorse non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.