The Miami Rotary Club in conjunction with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) and the First Christian Church of Miami will host a community blood drive from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20.

"This is a notoriously bad time of the year for blood," said Gary Meeks with the Rotary Club. "People donít want to go out to donate in the cold weather with ice on the ground, but itís those same conditions that cause an even higher need for blood because of accidents, etc."

When the available blood supply is down to three days worth it is described as "critical."

The available blood supply is much less than that.

"Right now our supply is down to one dayís worth," Meeks said. "And we donít expect it to improve very much soon."

The blood drive is scheduled until 7:30 p.m. to provide an opportunity for people to donate blood after work.

"It takes about one hour to donate blood," Meeks said. "Much of that is spent with the initial paperwork and health screening.

"It actually takes only six to eight minutes to donate blood."

Donors need to weigh at least 100 pounds, be healthy and at least 17-years-old.

Once someone donates, they will receive an ID card, which they are asked to bring when donating blood in the future.

A person can donate a pint of blood every 56 days. That pint of blood is broken down into its component parts and can help three different people.

The OBI keeps track of donors and calls and reminds them that their 56 days have expired and that they can donate again. The OBI is the 11th largest, non-profit regional blood center in America.

It was established in 1977 by the Oklahoma County Medical Society.

For more information or to sign-up, call Meeks at 542-7667 or Patsy Coyne at the church at 542-9816.