Midwest tornadoes activate nation’s emergency blood reserve

Community blood centers respond to natural disaster

THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA, Dec. 11, 2021 — The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) has been activated in response to the tornado outbreak in the Midwest. Yesterday’s significant weather has resulted in an immediate need for blood products in the areas impacted by the tornadoes.

The Blood Connection (TBC), along with three other “on call” blood centers sent extra blood units to Blood Assurance in Nashville for immediate trauma care for the victims in the affected states.

This event marks the third time the BERC has been activated since its launch in September, and TBC’s first week of the on-call rotation committing units to be set aside for an event like this.  

“The Blood Connection is currently working to deliver life-saving blood to the hospital that is treating the patients of this terrible disaster,” said Delisa English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection. “While this is our first week on call with the BERC, we are ready and able to help those of the Midwest communities thanks to the loyal TBC blood donors in our communities here at home. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and their loved ones.”

Facing an increasingly unsteady blood supply, The Blood Connection has helped establish a first-in-the-nation partnership alongside 21 other community blood centers to prepare for emergency situations where blood needs are high. The BERC is composed of blood centers from across the nation that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, “on call” schedule. The extra blood products will be held in reserve for any critical-need scenario, like a mass shooting or natural disaster.

The nation’s blood centers have faced widespread blood shortages in recent months, creating a severely strained national safety net for mass traumas and other high casualty disasters. Whether there is an emergency or not, blood donors are continuously needed for keeping the blood supply stable for local hospitals.

To find opportunities to donate blood, donors can make an appointment by going to thebloodconnection.org/donate or by calling 864-255-5000.