Last Updated on August 30, 2023

Des Moines, IA, August 30, 2023 - On Monday, August 28, the national Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) was activated for alert to send blood products to Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia, if needed.

BERC is a coalition comprised of 36 blood centers across the nation who commit to preparing for mass transfusion disasters by collecting extra units for an emergency reserve. This reserve is available immediately when disaster strikes, so responses can be rapid. LifeServe Blood Center is prepared to support areas in emergency situations as part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps.

LifeServe Blood Center is one of the blood centers on-call this week through BERC. As an on-call blood center, LifeServe automatically sets aside O positive and O negative blood products for expeditious transport and transfusion, upon activation. If the units are not used, they return to regular inventory for local distribution.

“Our mission is to save lives locally, but in times of national crisis our donors are eager to help,” West said. “Being a member of BERC creates that opportunity. If local donors want to help, we ask that you donate as soon as you can.”

The summer months see a strain on the community blood supply and as LifeServe approaches the Labor Day holiday and potential BERC activation, the community blood center and local blood supply will be in a more critical situation. LifeServe is urging all community members to donate this week and next week as they prepare for a BERC activation and the Labor Day holiday.

“In order to meet the needs of our local hospital partners and help support the impacted areas of Florida, we need to see more donors coming through our doors, ready to donate blood and save a life locally and nationally,” West shares.

All donors who donate blood between August 28 and September 9 will be entered to win a pair of Apple Airpods. Donation centers and mobile blood drives near you can be found at

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community-based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1947. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe provides blood products to 161 hospitals primarily in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend or family member or a stranger on the street. YOU make a difference in YOUR community. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or visit