As the remnants of Hurricane Ian move northward, anyone who was hurt and in need of a transfusion may be getting blood from eastern Iowans.

Kirby Winn, spokesman for the Davenport-based ImpactLife blood center, says they sent a shipment of “universal” type-O blood to Florida earlier this week to prepare for the big storm’s arrival.

“Blood centers all around the United States respond to requests coming from Florida because blood providers and hospitals there know that the rate of blood donation will decrease,” Winn says. “It will get to almost nothing really, with the aftermath, due to storm damage.”

With many Florida airports closed and roads either flooded, damaged or clogged with cars, the decision was made to send the blood by air freight on Tuesday. “There was a need identified even before the storm hit to get additional resources in and increase the blood supply in Florida before the hurricane made land,” Winn says, “and we expect additional requests to come as the impact of the storm is known.”

Iowans who want to help in the relief effort are encouraged to donate a pint at the nearest blood center or hospital, as Winn says the demand for all types is at a critical level. “We all look at increasing our schedules and doing just a little bit better with our blood drives and with our daily collections to have the volume that we need to provide for local hospitals,” Winn says, “because, of course, the need continues everywhere else, including here in our local communities, but also to have a volume that’s sufficient to send to Florida.”

ImpactLife is headquartered in Davenport with offices in Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City, Muscatine and Ottumwa.