As the American Red Cross responds to wildfires and historic hurricanes, eligible donors are reminded that giving blood during National Preparedness Month in September is one way to help ensure the agency is prepared to respond to patient emergencies across the country every day.

Hurricane Irma has forced the cancellation of dozens of Red Cross blood drives in the Southeast, resulting in more than 2,100 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Natural disasters like hurricanes can disrupt blood drives and prevent donors from giving, but hospital patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Volunteer blood donors are the only source for blood products needed by hospital patients.

Individuals in parts of the country unaffected by Hurricane Irma are encouraged to give blood to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. All blood types are currently needed.

Appointments can be made by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and use RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questions online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device at redcrossblood.org/?rapidpass.

Those who come to give blood in Central Ohio in September can receive a voucher from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a free hockey game ticket when one adult ticket is purchased, plus enter to win weekly drawings for Blue Jackets prize packs including game tickets, and a ride on the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine at a Jackets game.

Also, those donate blood through Sept. 30, will receive a coupon for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations. More information is available at redcrossblood.org/?sport-clips.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Coshocton County

• Sept. 18 — New Castle Church, 32421 U.S. 36, Walhonding, 2 to 6 p.m.

• Sept. 27 — Coshocton Senior Center, 201 Browns Lane, Coshocton, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Sept. 30 — Coshocton County Fair, 707 Kenilworth Ave., Coshocton, 2 to 7 p.m.

Guernsey County

• Sept. 20 — Zane State Cambridge, 9900 Brick Church Road (Route 660), Cambridge, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Harrison County

• Sept. 20 — Scott Memorial United Methodist Church, 817 E. Market Street, Cadiz, 12 to 6 p.m.

Muskingum County

• Sept. 16 — Unity Church of the Nazarene, 3095 Maysville Pike, Zanesville, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Sept. 18 — Adamsville Community Center, 8200 Madison Road, Adamsville, 1 to 7 p.m.

• Sept. 19 — Maysville High School, 3725 Panther Drive, South Zanesville, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Sept. 22 — Colony Square Mall, 3575 Maple Ave., Zanesville, 2 to 7 p.m.

• Sept. 23 — South Zanesville UMC, 53 E. Main Street, Zanesville, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• Sept. 25 — Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 830 Military Road, Zanesville, 1 to 7 p.m.

• Sept. 28 — Ohio State Company, 1519 Sharon Ave., Zanesville, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Sept. 29 — Meadowview Church of Christ, 6750 Raiders Road, Frazeysburg, 1 to 6 p.m.

More information about how the Red Cross is responding to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the western wildfires and other disasters is available at redcross.org.

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

Individuals age 17 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.