Breaking News
More () »

How to help with Hurricane Ian relief? Roll up your sleeve ASAP!

Local blood supplies were shipped to areas clobbered by Ian. Now the Red Cross and Memorial Blood Centers say there’s an urgent need to restock shelves.
Credit: KARE 11

MINNEAPOLIS — Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction across Florida and parts of the Southeastern U.S. The hurricane may be gone, but its impact will continue for weeks and months to come.

Not only did it damage homes and businesses, but it is also impacting the nation’s blood and platelet supply. The damage has made blood collection difficult or impossible in some areas. Blood donors in those areas are focused on repairing the physical damage. Collection centers have been damaged. Blood drives have been canceled. But the need for blood continues - both now and in the months to come.

In Minnesota, both Memorial Blood Centers and the American Red Cross sent blood products to the affected areas. Both organizations are ready to send more as needed. That means more local donations need to be collected to restock the supply both here and there.

Regular donors are asked to schedule their next appointment as soon as possible. People who haven’t donated in a while, or have never donated, are being asked to step up.

Where to Donate

Memorial Blood Centers has nine blood collection centers, eight in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. The location of community-based blood drives can be found by logging into Memorial’s Hero Hub portal Potential donors can also call  1-888-GIVE-BLD (1-888-448-3253).

The American Red Cross has a few permanent collection centers in the Twin Cities Area. Interested donors can also find community-based drives using a zip code-based finder tool. People can also call 1-800 RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross encourages potential donors to download its free blood donor app.

Donated platelets have a 5-7 day shelf life. Donated whole blood units can be refrigerated for up to 35 days. The need for regular donations is constant.

Both organizations are offering special incentives to entice more people to give. Check with each group for details.

Before You Leave, Check This Out