Blood donations are in short supply, according to the Community Blood Center.

“We have about a half-day supply right now. ... We try to keep at least a three- to four-day supply on hand,” Stann Tate, the CBC’s director of marketing, said Thursday afternoon. Late in the day, the CBC’s website listed the blood supply level as “critical.”

The CBC supplies blood to 70 metro area hospitals, including Centerpoint Medical Center and Truman Medical Centers.

In particular, types O negative – the universal type – A negative, B negative and O positive are most needed, but the CBC always encourages donations.

“Every single donation – one by one – will make a difference,” he said.

The problem, Tate said, is that cold weather and the flu are taking a toll, and people are canceling appointments. For example, if the kids are home sick, parents are having to take time off to deal with that and are unable to follow through on their donation appointments.

It’s a nationwide problem at the moment. The American Red Cross says 11,000 people across the country have canceled donations so far just this month – National Blood Donor Month, as it happens – because of weather.

Tate said area hospitals so far have not had to postpone surgeries or other procedures, though that has happened elsewhere.

“We’re pretty close to it,” he said.

The CBC has several area locations, including one at 1124 West U.S. 40 in Blue Springs. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Sunday. Call 816-224-0728 or 816-753-4040. There are also locations in Gladstone, Overland Park and at 4040 Main St. in Kansas City, north of the Plaza.

Tate said blood the CBC collects here stays here.

“That blood is going to the people in our area,” he said.

Donors generally can give every 56 days.

“We’re saying give us 60 minutes of your time every other month,” Tate said.