NORTH MERRICK - The Suffolk County headquarters of the American Red Cross may shut its doors as part of a consolidation effort deemed necessary amid a drop in donations.

Metro New York Red Cross spokesman Sam Kille points to the economic downturn and disasters in other areas of the world such as Japan and Haiti, which are diverting donations away from the Red Cross at home. The group had a $209 million deficit two years ago, and with donations down, Kille says it is still in the red.

The Red Cross is now looking at ways to operate more efficiently by consolidating services and cutting costs. One possibility is shutting down the Suffolk office on Horseblock Road in Yaphank.

The organization says if the Suffolk headquarters closes, volunteers from other chapters will respond to emergencies in the county.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross plans to step up its fundraising efforts.