Hurricane Irma Impacting the Blood Supply in Florida
People Around the Country Urged to Donate Blood NOW
(Orlando, Florida September 10, 2017) As Hurricane Irma moves across Florida, OneBlood, the local not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and the majority of the Southeast was forced to suspend all blood donations as of Saturday.
As a proactive measure OneBlood, in coordination with America’s Blood Centers and Blood Centers of America, is actively arranging for shipments of blood to be brought in to Florida by blood centers from around the country.
OneBlood is urging people living outside of Irma’s path to visit their local blood center and donate blood as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, however, there is an urgent need for platelet donations as well as O negative blood.
The need for blood does not stop for a hurricane, it only becomes more intensified. Other blood centers can only assist OneBlood if they have extra blood available to send to Florida. This is why a ready blood supply across the nation is imperative.
Hurricanes can disrupt the blood supply for several days. This scenario unfolded recently in Texas when Hurricane Harvey moved through. Massive damage from Harvey prevented blood centers in the Lone Star state from being able to collect blood for several days. OneBlood actually stepped in to help Texas and sent hundreds of units of blood to Texas to help ensure they had what they needed until they could resume operations.
Do not wait for a tragedy to become a blood donor. It takes time to test, process and ship the blood to Florida. People who do not live in Florida can help right now by donating blood at their local blood center today.
Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood drive and to schedule an appointment:
For more information on Hurricane Irma, please refer to the National Hurricane Center.