Help Ike Victims by Giving Blood

You can help Hurricane Ike victims on the Gulf Coast, and it only takes about an hour. As of right now, we don't have enough blood for people in the Panhandle, let alone for those on the coast...

So people willing to give blood are in high demand. "I am afraid of needles. I hate them. That's why I haven't donated until now." Gail Owen put aside her fear today, in hopes of helping those affected by Hurricane Ike. "We used to winter in Houston, so we know what it's like there. We have family there still and lots of friends in that area still." The blood center is hoping others follow in Gail's footsteps.

Jim Rutledge at the Blood Center says "we have a color coded system when we're talking about blood levels. When you look at it everything is green, which is good, means we have a three day supply. Everything except for O positive and O negative. Those aren't green. They're not even yellow. It's like a christmas tree. They're red, which means we have less than a one day supply of those and we cannot ship blood anywhere else until we have a three day supply. It's just too dangerous."

Drew Payne works at Coffee Memorial and donates blood on a regular basis. "I think it's really important. You have to have blood to survive." If you're hoping to donate blood, time is of the essence. "For those who donate today, their blood won't be able to go anywhere until at least noon tomorrow," says Rutledge. He comments not to let that discourage you...better late than never. "Even if we can get enough blood to send it to the affected regions by Monday, they'll still be needing some help then." As for Gail... Today was her first blood donation, but it won't be her last. "We're going to come back as often as we can."