Blood Assurance is asking for donors to give blood to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: Contributed)

In the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that ripped through Texas, Blood Assurance leaders are calling for citizens to donate blood.

“The need for blood donations is urgent, and we are asking members of our community to give whole blood donations today and in weeks to come,” Jay Baumgardner, executive director of marketing and community outreach, said in a prepared statement.

In response to the need, the nonprofit regional blood center has sent and will continue sending blood supply to centers in Southeast Texas.

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The organization’s leaders are hoping that locals will donate to help meet the increased demand.

“Our hearts and prayers are with every person in Southeast Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Baumgardner also said. “Blood Assurance is humbled to be able to support those in need during this tragedy. There are many ways to help during this time, and donating blood is one of the best ways you can support the people of Texas.”

Many blood drives in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas of Texas are being canceled because of staff and vehicles being unable to reach blood drive locations, which has impacted their ability to collect a sufficient blood supply to maintain the needed blood for the hospitals they serve, according to a news release.

Officials are expecting rain in Houston for the rest of the week, and the need for blood donations and supplies will continue through the next weeks and months.

Blood Assurance is requesting donations from all blood types, but particularly those with types O-negative and O-positive.

Donors can visit the Blood Assurance location in downtown Chattanooga at 705 E. Fourth St. across from McKenzie Arena between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. A list of their other offices can be found here.

Donors must be at least 18 years of age (or at least 16 with parental consent), weigh more than 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids, eat plenty of iron-rich foods and avoid caffeine prior to their appointments.

For more information about Blood Assurance, click here.

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