By Los Angeles Region Volunteer, Sarah Domier

On Monday October 2, I woke up to my mom asking if I had heard the news of what happened the night before. Still groggy, waking up and unaware, she told me that there had been a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, an event I had planned on attending and an event that numerous of my friends had attended.

We see tragedies like this happen all over the world and even other parts of America but, we never truly understand the importance of being as well prepared as we can for emergencies until after the fact. That Monday, because I am volunteer, I kept thinking about how the Red Cross would be assisting during this time of great need.  I suspected it would be similar to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, and I was right. For both catastrophic events, the Red Cross set up Family Assistance Centers and provided emotional support for community members, friends and family struggling to cope.

That morning my mom informed me that one of my friends had posted on Facebook saying she and her friends were safe from the shooting. Unfortunately, that still left me unaware of the status of many more people. I proceeded to search Facebook to get updates.

At this point it was a waiting game. But, before noon, I was able to get updates on everyone I knew, and thankfully, none of my friends were injured…or worse. Unfortunately though, friends of my friends had been shot, and some fatally.

I remember seeing tweets with pictures of people lined up around blocks waiting to donate blood for the victims. I’m grateful that the Red Cross was ready. This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time, and that’s why it is incredibly important for us to be donating blood regularly, and as often as we can. This way, the Red Cross will always be ready, and continue to have access to an adequate supply of blood during emergencies and times of great need.

This whole situation has made me also realize the importance of being prepared for any type of emergency or disaster. Whether it’s another mass shooting or a natural disaster, like an earthquake, continuing to donate blood when I can and making sure my emergency preparedness kit is stocked and ready to go will remain at the top of my list!


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