Red Cross Ready to Respond to Sandy - Eligible Donors Asked to Give Blood Prior to the Storm’s Arrival
Hurricane Sandy may take aim at the eastern coast of the United States as early as this weekend. As communities brace for the storm’s arrival, the American Red Cross urges people in the possible path of this storm to stay informed and get prepared now in case their community is affected. One way to help is by donating blood prior to the storm’s arrival.
“This storm could affect the turnout at Red Cross blood drives along the East Coast,” said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer, Southern Blood Services Region. “We ask anyone who is eligible to donate, especially in regions not affected by the storm, to please schedule a blood donation now. By giving blood now, your donation will help the Red Cross ensure that blood is available for patients who still need blood despite the weather.”
Nationwide, an average of 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment. This need does not diminish when disaster strikes.
The Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to where it’s needed most – especially during these critical times. “It’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives when disasters occur,” said Edwards.
The Red Cross is mobilizing disaster workers in the regions that weather experts say will be affected by the storm, and has more than 100 emergency response vehicles on alert. Supplies are ready to be moved and shelter locations are being identified across multiple states. The Red Cross is working closely with federal, state and local government officials, as well as community partners to coordinate response efforts.
Individuals and families are asked to take personal preparedness steps and download the free Red Cross Hurricane App to get ready for the storm now. The Hurricane App provides real-time hurricane safety information, such as weather alerts and where Red Cross shelters are located. The app also features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The app can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for “American Red Cross.”
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or click here to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in 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.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please click here or join our blog.