JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Sandy’s far-reaching impacts are also affecting the East Coast’s blood supply.
"This is not something that's just going to be a week long and it's over,” said Odette Struys, spokeswoman for The Blood Alliance.
Sandy has already caused the cancellation of close to 300 American Red Cross blood drives along the East Coast, causing a shortfall of more than 9,000 blood and platelet donations. Many believe those numbers are only expected to go up.
Here in Jacksonville, while The Blood Alliance’s first priority is making sure local needs are met, they’re already gearing up to chip in if called upon.
"During a time of crisis, we are part of a resource-sharing network through the Blood Centers of America (BCA) that respond to needs similar to blood banks like ourselves,” said Struys.
Struys says the need for blood in the Northeast will be ongoing until all medical centers and hospitals in the area are back up to capacity.
But one thing they can’t help but wonder is what if Sandy struck here?
"Would we have been ready? We hope so. And we can do that with the help of the community. We depend on the community to keep our blood supply robust,” said Struys.
The Blood Alliance provides blood to more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
For more information on how you can become a donor, go to www.igiveblood.com.