The winter weather has taken a toll on reserves at the local blood bank.

"The continuous storms that have been rolling through, they do have an impact on peoples availability to donate blood," said Scott Edward of Vitalant.  "We've had to cancel a number of blood drivers, we had others  that came up under what we were expecting, and not as many people are coming into the center."

They're about 200 units short this month, so everyone here is hoping for a little sunshine - and volunteers that haven't caught a cold from all that cold.

"This time of year it's always a struggle because we're dealing with cold and flu season." Edward said.  "If people are feeling healthy and can drive to one of our centers or come to one of our blood drives, we need them."

As of this week, Vitalant has removed the year deferral for new tattoos, so the freshly inked can donate as well.

There was a year deferral so if you were someone who got a tattoo once a year you were unable to donate," Edward said.  "With the popularity of tattoos and how it fits into the culture, that was definitely an issue we've been dealing with.  We're very happy that's not a deferral any more.  So come and show us your ink and come donate blood; we'd love to see you!"

The goal is to bump up donations to 175 a day through at least the end of the month to make sure area hospitals don't run short on their lifesaving supply.

With snowstorms there can be an increase in accidents that can cause emergency room situations," Edward said.  "We also have the things that we see every day; cancer patients that need transfusions, normal things that are happening every day behind the scenes without us knowing."

You can walk in to the Vitalant centers in Reno, Sparks and Carson City or make an appointment.