The Wireless Foundation honored the American Red Cross on Monday with the Connected Health Achievement Award for its popular suite of free preparedness mobile apps. The American Red Cross First Aid, Tornado, Earthquake, Hurricane and Wildfire Apps provide people with lifesaving information in times of disaster at the touch of a button.
“What is really most gratifying to me personally is when disasters are averted altogether,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, at the awards dinner in Washington, D.C. “And that’s exactly what these apps can do.”
McGovern recounted a review she saw posted on the iTunes Store where a Tornado App user described how the app’s tornado warning alert sounded when tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma in May. Based on the information in the app, the user was able to determine where to go to safety. As a result, he credited the app with saving his life and the lives of his family and neighbors.
In just nine months, the five apps have been downloaded over 3 million times and have exponentially increased the reach of Red Cross safety and preparedness messages. People have reporting using the First Aid App to save lives in situations such as giving back blows and abdominal thrusts to a stranger who was choking; controlling bleeding for an injured colleague; and helping a friend who was having a seizure.
Last week, the Red Cross released its newest app, the Team Red Cross App, which allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in their community.
“Our plan is to stay on the cutting edge of this technology,” McGovern said.
The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps
FIRST AID APP The First Aid app is an easy way to get lifesaving first aid instruction anytime, anywhere. Features include step-by step instructions for first aid scenarios and a 9-1-1 call button, as well as safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe weather and disasters.
TORNADO APP The tornado app includes features like a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued.
HURRICANE APP People can download the Red Cross Hurricane App to have real-time hurricane safety information at their fingertips. They can use the app to receive weather alerts and get information on Red Cross shelters.
EARTHQUAKE APP People can receive alerts and notifications when an earthquake occurs, prepare their family and home, find help and let others know they are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.
WILDFIRE APP The Red Cross Wildfire App features preloaded content that gives users instant access to information on what to do before, during and after wildfires – even without mobile connectivity. Get the latest news from local, state and federal fire agencies in the “Wildfire News” section.