SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The American Red Cross of Utah is calling on residents to donate blood as the organization continues to grapple with a nationwide blood shortage.

The blood shortage is due to an “alarming shortfall” in donations. According to the American Red Cross of Utah, the organization only had about 30,000 donations in the last month. Meanwhile, hospital demand for blood increased due to weather-related disasters such as Hurricane Idalia, which struck Florida about two weeks ago.

The Red Cross says as many remember lives lost during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, donating blood is a great way to commemorate the day.

“September 11 serves as a powerful reminder of our collective strength during times of crisis,” said American Red Cross CEO of the Utah/Nevada Region Heidi Ruster. “We encourage Utah residents to embrace the sense of community and service that this day represents by making a blood donation. Your contribution could prove lifesaving.”

According to the American Red Cross, the organization supplies around 40% of the nation’s collected blood at over 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In order to meet hospital demand, the Red Cross says it needs to collect 12,500 blood and 3,000 platelet donations daily. However, donations have been low, with the American Red Cross saying it saw a “summer-long deficit” of donations.

While all blood types are needed, the Red Cross says there is a special need for Type O and platelet donors. Type O-positive blood is the most frequently transfused blood type while O-negative is considered a universal donor and often used in emergency situations. Meanwhile, platelets provide a unique blood product for hospital patients, such as those fighting cancer.

Ruster said the “simple act of kindness” of a blood donation could help end the blood emergency in the United States.

“We encourage all Utahns to honor this day of service and remembrance by donating blood and making a difference in someone’s life,” said Ruster.