HOW TO HELP "This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now," Shimanski said. "People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone."Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now. To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent. LAST DAY TO GET READY The Red Cross urges everyone to make their final storm preparations today. Sandy is expected to have a huge impact in the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching north to New England and toward the Midwest. Millions of people could lose power for several days. Gale force winds are expected, accompanied by several inches of rain throughout the storm. Flooding could occur as far west as parts of Ohio. In areas like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, several feet of snow could occur. Important information about how to get ready for the storm – steps to take for emergencies like flooding, power outages, even winter weather- is available on the Red Cross web site.Videos are also available to help people get prepared, including information on severe weather preparedness and how to get ready for winter weather.