SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Northern California is experiencing an extreme shortage of blood donations. The winter weather has kept some people away, and recently donation appointments were canceled due to power outages.

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There is typically a drop off in blood donations after the holidays but the donation shortage has been exacerbated this year.

“So the storms after this last weekend, we had power outages, where we’ve had to cancel a number of appointments,” Nicole Anderson, regional director of Blood Centers of the Pacific, told KCBS.

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Blood Centers of the Pacific operates a number of locations, and not all have generators to keep the blood at the right temperature. Additionally, some people did not want to venture out into the wild weather.

“I think it’s important for people to remember that it’s the blood on the shelf, the day of the event, that actually saves lives,” Anderson said.

There is a constant need for blood donations, and whole blood only lasts for 45 days.

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Anyone interested in donating is asked to visit bloodcenters.org for more information.