The American Red Cross is putting out an urgent call for blood donations.  The organization has declared an Emergency Blood Shortage nationwide.

"Right now the Red Cross has a two-day supply of blood on the shelves," said Jim Whitfield, the donor recruitment officer in our region.  "We like to see a four to five day supply."

Whitfield says because of where the 4th of July fell on the calendar, 450 regular blood drives had to be cancelled.  That led to 16,000 lost units of blood.

Finding a blood drive near you is easy.  Just go to www.redcrossblood.org, and enter your zip code.  You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS to find the information.

The Red Cross strongly recommends that you schedule an appointment that's convenient for your schedule.  "We know someone's time is very important and we want to get folks taken care of in a timely fashion when they come to a drive," Whitfield said.