Blood donations were not an immediate need following last week’s tornado that killed five people and injured several more in southeast Missouri’s Bollinger County. But the storm and other such disasters usually mean pints of already-donated blood will need to be replenished.

Joe Zydlo is with the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas.

“When we have a disaster like this, there isn’t, per se, something where you can say, ‘hey I want to donate to help people who were injured in this particular disaster that happened – tornado, whatever,’” he said. “We have our blood drives and we collect throughout the entire region, Missouri and Arkansas.”

Donations of pints of blood, as well as platelets, are always welcome.

“First and foremost, we’re going to help those hospitals that we provide blood for,” Zydlo said. “If there are hospitals that we aren’t partnered with and they do contact us, we want to make sure we have surplus where we can send those products there too. So, if you’re healthy and eligible to donate right now (and you’re) in a safe area, please go donate blood.”

To donate blood or platelets, visit

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