Disasters can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help their communities prepare for emergencies by giving blood during National Preparedness Month.

The mission of the Red Cross is to help the public prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. During National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross reminds Americans to take simple steps to get ready for emergencies in their homes, workplaces and communities. One way to support this mission is to become a regular blood donor.

A stable blood supply is central to ensuring patient needs are met in emergencies. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients. It’s the blood already on the shelves that can help save lives when disaster strikes.

To help increase donations during the month of September, those who come out to donate blood or platelets throughout the month will receive a coupon by email for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations.

Appointments to donate and help the Red Cross prepare for patient needs across the country can be made at redcrossblood.org. Information about other ways to help prepare for emergencies is available at redcross.org.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Northport
Wednesday September 17th: 10:30am - 3:30pm at Northport Medical Center, located at 2700 Hospital Drive.

Tuscaloosa
Monday September 22nd: 9am - 2pm at the Univerrsity of Alabama School of Law, located at 101 Paul W Bryant Drive East.

Carrollton
Tuesday September 23rd: 2pm - 6pm at Pickens County Medical Center, located at 241 Robert K. Wilson Drive.

How to donate blood:

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.