Superstorm Sandy didn’t just leave a loss of leaves on trees, but blood as well.
The American Red Cross was forced to cancel about 300 blood drives across 14 states in the last two days because of safety concerns during Superstorm Sandy, Red Cross Field Representative for Penn State Wendi Keeler said.
“As of Tuesday morning we have not been able to collect about 9,000 blood donations across the affected areas,” she said.
Those 9,000 blood donations were already scheduled to be collected, she said.
Marianne Spampinato, regional communications manager at Red Cross Blood Services in Johnstown, said they were forced to cancel blood drives in four out of six states that her organization covers due to power outages and flooding.
“Our national inventory management system helps us move blood from unaffected areas in the Deep South and mid-west to affected areas like New Jersey and Virginia,” she said.
The Red Cross is trying to raise as much blood as possible before Thanksgiving and Christmas break when more people are likely to become sick due to the weather and are unable to donate, Spampinato said.
President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday at the Red Cross in Washington, D.C. about the superstorm and said “America is with you,” according to a White House press release.
Obama also said The Red Cross “knows what it’s doing” and said it’s time for people to show their generosity by giving donations to aid their work, according to the release.
The Penn State vs. Michigan State University blood drive challenge at the HUB-Robeson Center resumed Tuesday after being canceled on Monday at 1 p.m., Keeler said. The blood drive competition will continue through Nov. 15 and aims to encourage student donations, Keeler said.
“This is a great opportunity for students to help PSU win the challenge and more importantly help raise blood for places in the East that have been affected by the superstorm,” she said.
The Penn State Red Cross Club aims to raise more than 2,000 pints of blood though this challenge and is encouraging every student who is able to donate to come in to the HUB or other drive locations, Emily Dong, treasurer of Penn State Red Cross club,said.