WACO, Texas — Carter BloodCare is one of three Texas blood centers joining a nationwide emergency blood reserve program that is the first of its kind.
The blood supply in Texas and across the country has been low for months. The newly-formed Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, or BERC, hopes to prevent that shortage from having deadly consequences in case of an emergency.
"We've realized that under this severe blood shortage we're undergoing right now, that it's no longer really possible to rely on an extra or an excess of blood around the country," said Carter's public relations director, Linda Goelzer.
BERC is a group of seven blood centers across the country. They'll take turns being "on-call" to collect extra blood for a given week.
"If something happens anywhere between the seven blood centers, we know there's a little stockpile over here that we would be able to send," Goelzer said.
Goelzer said Carter will be on call every two to three weeks or so. The blood care center plans to host more donation events with large sponsors during those weeks. She said she hopes more people will begin donating blood again once the pandemic eases up.
The blood from BERC can be moved quickly to help in emergencies like shootings, natural disasters, or large-scale car crashes.
Carter BloodCare is encouraging everyone eligible to make an appointment to donate blood.
They are currently offering free COVID-19 antibody tests for each donation.