SPOTSWOOD, NJ - In the wake of Hurricane Dorian's hard hit on the Bahamas, the New Jersey Blood Center is asking residents to give blood to help victims of the storm.

"We have already shipped units of blood to blood centers in areas threatened by Dorian and more donations are urgently needed in order to ensure blood is available in the aftermath of the storm," said New Jersey Blood Center Account Manager Lynne Ross.

Ross explained that along with the devastation a hurricane causes on the ground, the storms also hit the nation's blood supply hard as blood centers across the country ship units to impacted areas such as the Bahamas. Blood supplies are typically lowest during the summer months.

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The Spotswood VFW #4589 is hosting a community-wide blood drive on Monday, September 9 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donors should be between the ages of 17 and 75 and be in good physical health. A donor can be 16 years of age, but must have a parental consent form. Individuals 76 years of age and older can donate with a doctor's note. All donors should bring identification with a signature or a photo that includes a date of birth. Individuals with a donor card should bring the card. Walk-ins are welcome, but donors can also schedule appointments online or by telephoning 1-800-933-2566. The sponsor code for the September 10 blood drive is 13807.

The donation process takes about sixty minutes. Donors should hydrate well the day before they are scheduled to give blood. It's helpful to snack on salty snacks the evening before as well as get a good night's sleep prior to donating. Eating a well-balanced breakfast the morning of the donation is recommended. Donors should also bring a bottle of water along and drink right before donating.

For additional information on the blood donation process, visit the New York Blood Center's website.

The Spotswood VFW is located on 33 Daniel Road in Spotswood.