Sandy: How to help those impacted by the storm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City chapter of the American Red Cross is urging local residents to donate blood to assist the areas of the country impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

About 100 Red Cross blood drives in 11 different states have been canceled because of the monster storm that hit the East Coast on Monday evening, resulting in a shortfall of more than 3,200 units of blood and platelets, according to a statement from the Kansas City chapter.

"Patients will still need blood despite the weather," said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the Red Cross.

More cancellations were expected as the aftermath of the storm continues to plague the Northeast.

Two blood drives are scheduled for Tuesday in the Kansas City area:

Legends 14 Theatres, 1841 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan., 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Fireman's Union Hall, 322 SE Douglas, Lee's Summit, Mo., 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Those who cannot make it to one of the blood drives are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Red Cross to donate blood. You can do so by visiting www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

"To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes," Benjamin said, "it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible."

Other ways to help

Those who are not able to give blood but would like to help people affected by Sandy may donate by visiting www.redcross.org , calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

"This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone."

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