ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local blood center has been called to support blood needs and relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Idalia.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) is part of the “Blood Emergency Readiness Corps,” which is made up of 26 blood banks around the country. They take turns being “on call” to respond to situations like natural disasters and mass shootings.

RRVBC is on call this week, and it came during not only a hurricane, but the Labor Day weekend as well.

Administrators said that they need the community to step up to meet demands.

“You know, people take for granted that blood is just going to be there, like it’s always on the shelf. It’s like a Tylenol, right? It’s always there, but, it’s not,” said Heidi Ognibene, COO of the RRVBC. “We need volunteers to supply it, and we need people to donate it to be able to supply the need. So, these type of events, while they’re horrific, it does raise the awareness that we need people to come in and make blood donations.”

Donating is easy. Walk-ins are excepted, or residents can sign-up online.