Superstorm Sandy has forced the cancellation of hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives in 14 states along the East Coast causing a shortfall of blood and platelet donations.
According to the Red Cross there is already a deficit of more than 9,000 units and those eligible to donate in unaffected parts of the country are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets.
Diane E. Ward, CEO of the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross says, "When you donate through the Red Cross you can help patients in your local community and patients across the country, including those in the path of Sandy."
All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply is available during a disaster, especially type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative blood.
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.
Platelet donors should call 313-494-2788 to schedule an appointment. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Michigan), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
The Red Cross has mobilized disaster volunteers and is providing safe shelter from Hurricane Sandy to thousands of people in the storm's path. The Red Cross is working closely with federal, state and local government officials, as well as community partners to coordinate response efforts.
To help people affected by disasters like this, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to a local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.