AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas blood bank, We Are Blood (WRB), joined the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, the nation’s first emergency blood reserve to combat the blood shortage crisis across America.

The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) is made up of seven blood centers from five states partnering to collect donations reserved for emergencies such as a mass shooting or natural disaster.

We Are Blood said communities are good about coming out to donate when one of those events happens, but sometimes blood is needed immediately.

“The risk is the day of a shooting or natural disaster when we send as much blood as possible to help patients, we need to receive help from other blood centers in that moment while we wait for the community to respond and help us replenish our shelves,” said Nick Canedo, VP of Community Engagement at We Are Blood.

We Are Blood is the sole provider of blood to over 40 hospitals and medical facilities in the region. Other blood centers within the coalition include Oklahoma Blood Institute, California’s Houchin Community Blood Bank, The Community Blood Center in Wisconsin, Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare.

We Are Blood has three donation locations in Travis and Williamson Counties. The organization said O-positive and O-negative blood is needed the most.