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HARSH LESSONS & WARNINGS FROM MEMORIAL DAY 2019 TORNADOES

May 27, 2022

DAYTON, Ohio - Nine months before the COVID-19 lockdown, the Memorial Day tornado outbreak of 2019 gave the region a harsh reminder of how immediately an emergency can stagger the available blood supply.

The lessons of 2019 loom as Community Blood Center calls on donors to help build the blood supply in advance of this Memorial Day and in the days following the holiday.

CBC's regional inventory of type O blood is in low supply.  CBC is encouraging donors with special events planned Memorial week at the Dayton CBC Donation Center. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

The CBC Dayton Donation Center is open Saturday, May 28 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be open for special hours on Sunday, May 29 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.  CBC is closed Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 31 begins a week of special donor gifts at the Dayton CBC Donation Center. Everyone who registers Tuesday, May 31, Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2 will receive a $10 Fricker's gift card.

CBC will celebrate National Doughnut Day on Friday, June 3 at the Dayton CBC with free doughnuts, and it will also be a special "Fueling Up Friday" with a free $10 Speedway gas card for everyone who registers to donate.

A special summer giveaway begins a week after Memorial Day. Everyone who registers to donate June 6 through June 18 at any CBC blood drive or the Dayton CBC will be automatically entered in a drawing to win four tickets to "Country Concert 22" July 7-9 in Fort Loramie.

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas served as another harsh reminder of how sudden events can create an emergency need for blood.

In 2019 the Dayton region tornado outbreak was the perfect storm for blood drive disruption.

Hospital usage was high during the 2019 holiday weekend, before the tornadoes hit. CBC was closed on Memorial Day with only 14 blood drives scheduled the remainder of the week. Storm damage cancelled a blood drive and donors began cancelling appointments.

CBC put out a call for help and more than 1,700 donors responded.

On Tuesday after Memorial Day, 125 donors rushed to the Dayton CBC. Another 261 donors came to the four mobile blood drives still scheduled.

As word spread of the need, more donors responded.  On Wednesday, 279 donors packed the Dayton CBC. The First Presbyterian Church in Troy was the only community blood drive of the day and it totaled 106 donors with many waiting in line to donate.

Donors continued to fill all available appointments to donate and their support stabilized the blood supply.  In five days, CBC totaled 1,734 donors, including 1,435 donations and 270 first-time donors.

That total nearly doubled the number of donors during the "normal" week following Memorial Day 2018.

But the blood supply recovery after Memorial Day 2019 was just the beginning.  COVID became the new challenge to the Memorial Day supply in 2020 and 2021.