Red Cross seeks blood donors ahead of Sandy's arrival


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- 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 Ryan Corcoran, chief executive officer, South Carolina 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 Corcoran. "The time to help is now."

Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment to donate blood.

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.