CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As individuals in the Southeast begin to prepare for the possible impact of Hurricane Irene, the American Red Cross is urging immediate blood donations prior to the storm's arrival.
"It's the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster," stated Joyce Brendel, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region.
"We are still working to stabilize the blood supply after our summer shortages. If people will donate blood immediately, before the storm, then blood will be available in the aftermath should conditions prohibit people from traveling or coming to blood drives."
Park Road Donor Center
2425 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. (*Labor Day 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
- Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (*Closed Saturday, Aug. 27)
- Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (*Closed Sunday, Sept. 4)
Huntersville Donor Center
Huntersville Business Park
9800 Kincey Ave. Huntersville, NC 28078
- Monday: 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (*Labor Day 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
- Friday, Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (*Closed Saturday, Aug. 27)
- Student Activities Center
- August 30
- 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bank of America Founders Hall
- 100 North Tryon Street
- August 30
- 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Across the country, blood centers are struggling to keep pace with demand. Nationwide, around 39,000 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. When disaster strikes, this need does not diminish, even though blood donors may find it difficult or impossible to get to a convenient donation opportunity.
Also, if collections are negatively impacted by a disaster, the long-term care needs of these patients could be affected.
"Don't wait until after the storm to donate," urged Brendel. "The time to help is now."
Individuals who are 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission, meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.