FARMER’S BRANCH (CBS 11 NEWS) – At the Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Farmer’s Branch the waiting room is busy.

Some have been patiently reading and waiting for 45 minutes to give blood.

Red Cross says the rush is because of super storm Sandy.

“That’s what prompted me to come,” says Dick Wakeman from Dallas. “I don’t have the money to give to anybody, but I want to be able to do something. So I got blood.”

Sandy forced the cancellation of 300 blood drives along the East Coast.

Red Cross is short 9,000 pints of blood already and says that could mean saving 27,000 lives.

To put it in perspective, one pint of blood saves three lives.

“Some of America’s largest cities are shut down for a while with Manhattan – all the burrows around New York – with Washington D.C., Philadelphia, even areas down in North Carolina where they are dealing with winter weather.   These are area’s where blood donations were scheduled weeks ago,” explains Anita Foster with American Red Cross.  “It’s frightening to think about being short 9,000 pints of blood and have a major emergency occur somewhere else in the country.”

Foster says all blood types are needed especially O positive and negative.

That’s what brought in Max Safavi.

He tries to donate blood at least four times a year.  He says this time it’s even more important because his family in the Washington D.C. area is dealing with Sandy’s aftermath.

“Other people need it. My blood is the type that is rare,” says Safavi. “Giving blood is more personal – giving money is just a check – a paper.  Here you are doing something. You are taking your time coming down.”

Red cross in North Texas is considering adding more blood drives in the coming weeks.

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