Archived Story

Red Cross offers Flood App

Published 8:55pm Saturday, March 22, 2014

Some apps are for fun, but a new one offered by the American Red Cross likely will help save lives and property.

The American Red Cross offers its new Flood App at no charge. It provides Android, iPad and iPhone smartphone uses instant access to real-time local information. That information lets them know what to do before, during and after a flooding incident. The content is available in English and Spanish, based on the user’s language settings on his or her mobile device.

The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash-flood watches and warnings — even if the app is closed.

“Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and people can use the Red Cross app to create emergency plans so all household members know what to do if flooding threatens,” said David Garrison, disaster program officer for the Eastern North Carolina Region of the American Red Cross. “The audible alerts in the app can save lives — even when users are away from a radio or TV.”

Other features of the app include:

• One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;

• Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;

• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;

• Locations of open Red Cross shelters;

• Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and

• Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

The new app was released during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which was last week.

The app is the latest in the series of Red Cross emergency preparedness apps that put lifesaving information in the hands of people whenever and wherever they need it. The expert advice in Red Cross apps, which also includes apps for first aid, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other services, has been used to help save lives during disasters and medical emergencies. Red Cross apps have been downloaded on nearly 4 million mobile devices.

The Flood App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

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