SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Though weather conditions are improving after last week’s winter storms, more than 100,000 people remain without power across five states, and more than 8 million people in Texas are without water.
The American Red Cross fielded more than 500 emergency calls from people in Texas needing help, and the Red Cross Georgia Region is moving 100,000 ready-to-eat meals and several tractor-trailers filled with water to Texas.
They are also working with government and community partners to coordinate food and water distribution to where it is most needed.
“The American Red Cross and our partners are working to help people recover and ensure access to water,” American Red Cross Georgia Region spokesperson Ronnika McFall said.
“The Red Cross works 24/7 to be ready to respond to disasters like storms. Every single donation will make a difference in someone’s life. Your gift enables the Red Cross to help people recover from disasters,” she added.
Record-breaking cold and winter storms across much of the U.S. have also forced the cancellation of hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives in 30 states and caused more than 15,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
They are urging healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give now to ensure blood products are available for patient emergencies when help can’t wait.
McFall says the need for blood is constant, especially during snowstorms and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re trying to be proactive so there’s not a blood shortage,” McFall told WSAV NOW. “Your blood donation could be helping someone down the street or across the country. The Red Cross’ goal is to get the right blood to the right patient at the right time.”
Learn more about the American Red Cross’ relief efforts below:
She says the organization strives to meet local hospital needs first; then, blood can be sent wherever there is a patient in need through the Red Cross’s national inventory management system.
“You can track where your donation goes through our donor app,” McFall said. “We have a hard time keeping the blood supply strong during winter months in general when weather and seasonal illnesses can impact donors. So it’s important that we keep blood donations at the top of mind.”
Blood donation appointments can be made for the coming weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Those who donate blood between now and Feb. 28 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.