AUSTIN (KXAN) — The recent winter storm in Austin not only knocked down our tree branches and power, but also lowered the central Texas blood supply to dangerously small amounts.

“The situation actually got pretty scary last week,” Nick Canedo, a spokesman for We Are Blood explained.

We Are Blood is the sole provider of blood donations to 50 hospitals across 10 different counties in central Texas. During the winter storm, it had to stop donations for a couple of days.

Canedo said on a typical day the center can draw 200 blood donations.

“So a day or two shutdown can be devastating for the community supply,” Canedo explained.

Canedo said the supply of O-negative, the blood type known as the “universal donor” because it can be given to every individual no matter the blood type, got down to just a one day supply.

Hospitals were not impacted by the slow down, Canedo explained. We Are Blood was able to ramp up the supply for hospitals before the winter freeze, and there were some staff still available during the freeze that were making vital deliveries.

Replenishing the supply

We Are Blood has started a big push to replenish the blood they lost while also keeping up with its daily operations.

“We need everyone’s help,” Canedo said.

The blood center is hosting community events around Austin to draw people in to donate. One recent event, where We Are Blood sent its mobile blood unit to the Pflugerville library, brought in Shannon Mokry.

Mokry, an O-positive blood type, meaning she can give blood to anyone with a positive blood type, said she regularly gives blood about four times per year.

“Joys of being an O,” Mokry said about her blood type with a laugh.

Canedo said the center has seen a good turnout of blood donors since the freeze that has helped with the recovery of the blood supply.

“You never know when it’s gonna be you or a family member who needs blood. And it’s so important to make sure there’s some safe, healthy, good blood available,” Mokry said.

Where can I donate?

We Are Blood has a list of blood drives happening this weekend. You can find a list and sign up on their website.

We Are Blood has also partnered with the Girl Scouts of central Texas and will be giving away a free box of Girl Scout cookies to anyone that donates blood.