On Thursday morning, Mississippi Blood Services announced it is joining the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC).
BERC, the nation’s first blood reserve, is a group of blood centers across the nation that commits to joining together to be prepared for mass transfusion disasters that are bound to happen.
“The purpose of BERC is to get ahead of a disaster when some tragedy occurs,” Mississippi Blood Services president and CEO David Allen said. “Three or four blood centers are assigned a particular week…Those three or four blood centers have decided to put blood aside and to not use it for their local use but have it aside in case there is a tragedy someplace else.”
Allen also added that it takes at least two days after donation for blood to be ready for transfusion. With blood centers in 34 states currently taking part in BERC’s rotating program, there will never be delays in the case of an emergency.
Disasters that BERC has responded to since their founding include:
- The September 27 mass shooting at a grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee
- The December 1 school shooting in Oxford, Michigan
- The devastating tornadoes that struck several midwestern and southern states in mid-December
Blood centers across the nation continue to face a shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to donate to Mississippi Blood Services, click here.