CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The American Red Cross has deployed 600 people thus far to help aid relief efforts in storm struck areas of Hurricane Michael.
That number will likely grow as Hurricane Michael continues to wreak havoc on the southeastern states.
American Red Cross Southeast Missouri Region Executive Director Julian Watkins said the hurricane will further drive the need for blood donations for those affected by the massive storm.
"We have a blood shortage right now because when these things happen we have to cancel blood drives," Watkins stated.
Watkins states they still have 1,400 Red Cross members helping out with Hurricane Florence relief efforts. They are still recuperating after the blood drive lost when that storm hit.
"With Florence, we lost about 6,000 blood units that we would normally collect," Watkins said. "We had to make up for that in other areas so we did hold some emergency drives."
Watkins said people here can help those that are affected, either by the storm struck areas or anywhere that is needed. He said with local donations, the Red Cross will help our Heartland area first but is able to shift blood units where it is most needed as well.
It's neighbor helping neighbor," Watkins said. "It's very important in these times that we are able to provide relief for everyone. Because when disasters do happen here, we hope they are to provide for us as well."
Watkins said they are ready at a moments notice if they were to get the call to need assistance from one of their team members. He said they are always looking for volunteers to be trained and ready to assist in situations like these.
"Whenever a disaster hits, we have volunteers that have been trained in certain areas that we do deploy to those disasters," Watkins stated. "If you want to become a volunteer, feel free to come in and we will get you the training that you need and in future disasters, you might be able to fill that role."
For monetary donations, you can text Red Cross to 90999. You can also go to www.redcross.org to find a location near you to donate blood.