BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Blood Center (TBC) is asking Louisiana and Mississippi residents to donate blood to aid those affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida.

The center said it began sending blood to Hurricane Ian-affected areas after landfall and will continue to provide blood upon request.

“We’ve heard from blood collectors across Florida that several employees lost everything, and they need our help now. The effects and destruction of Hurricane Ian on parts of Florida are comparable to those we experienced during Katrina,” says Billy Weales, president & CEO of The Blood Center. “Our focus remains the hospitals and patients in our local community, but coastal Florida has helped us in the past and this is our opportunity to pay it forward. Donors just need to let us know when they’re donating that instead of a shirt or other donor reward, you’d like to help Florida.”

To find a blood drive near you, visit TheBloodCenter.org. Anyone who wants to plan a blood drive can call 800-86-BLOOD.