The American Red Cross is asking people outside the hurricane-devastated areas to donate blood and money.

The next scheduled blood drive in the Madison area will be today from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 1660 at Ivy Tech Community College Madison campus, 590 Ivy Tech Drive.

To schedule an appointment - although one is not needed - or for more information, call (812) 265-2580, ext. 4231 or email gsmith82@ivytech.edu.

Donations also are needed.

"This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross. "People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone." They also can send donations in the mail.

Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross said in a press release.

There are several ways to donate:

• Visit www.redcross.org

• Call (800) 733-2767

• Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

• Mail to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to the Jefferson County chapter, 404 E. Main St., Madison, IN 47250.

The press release said blood drives in the Northeast have been canceled because of the storm, and more cancellations are expected.

"This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far," the press release said. "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."