OKLAHOMA CITY - Recent winter storms have caused a critical shortage of blood at the nine Oklahoma Blood Institute branches.

OBI Spokesperson Leslie Gamble said bad weather closed schools and churches around the state, thus canceling nearly 20 planned blood drives in the past two weeks. She said the OBI's type negative supply is especially critical right now.

“This is something that daily is going on in hospitals that daily people battling cancer, premature babies are born, people with burns or transplants all those things are requiring lots of blood just to stay alive,” said Gamble.

She said Oklahoma City's four Oklahoma Blood Institute locations will hold a drive Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and those who stop by to donate a pint of their blood will get a t-shirt.

The whole process takes less than an hour, providing willing donors pass screening exams.