WASHINGTON, D.C. – As hurricane season kicks off, the American Red Cross confirmed that more than one million people have downloaded its smart phone app designed for families in hurricane prone areas.
The free app operates on both iPhone and Android platforms giving families critical information in the palm of their hand.
The main feature is instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. The also app includes a number of features that allow people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside, and to share information with others in their social networks who might also need it.
App features include:
- One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
- Location-based NOAA weather alerts for the United States and its territories users can share on social networks;
- Remote monitoring of personalized weather alerts where family and friends reside;
- Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
- Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
- Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps even without mobile connectivity;
- Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and,
- Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
Red Cross experts have reviewed and tested the information and advice provided in this app.
The Hurricane App followed the Red Cross First Aid App which had nearly 600,000 downloads in just six weeks.
Preparation Assistance for Businesses, Schools
One of the newer apps is designed specifically for businesses seeking information about emergency preparedness. Called the Ready Rating program, it is a free, web-based preparedness program that lets businesses, organizations and schools measure how ready they are to deal with emergencies. It provides them with customized feedback on how to improve their efforts.
Preparation Help for the Whole Family
In all, the American Red Cross has created nearly a dozen apps to assist families and individuals with important emergency information.
“With more than eight million downloads including our Emergency App, which allows people to set more the 35 severe weather and emergency alerts for their local area and where loved-ones live, the apps contain content on what to do before, during and after a variety of events from home fires and power outages to tornadoes and hurricanes,” said Don Lauritzen, a Red Cross spokesman. “We also have a Monster Guard App that is an emergency preparedness game for kids.”