PHOENIX (Sept. 25, 2012) – The American Red Cross launched an earthquake app Tuesday, providing lifesaving material to people in earthquake-prone areas, including Yuma residents near the San Andreas Fault and Flagstaff residents and Grand Canyon visitors on the Colorado Plateau.
The free app, available in both English and Spanish for iPhones and Androids, is the third in a series created by the Red Cross. It comes on the heels of the first aid and hurricane apps, which have been downloaded more than a million times since June. People have used the first aid app to control bleeding, care for broken bones and help people having seizures, and the hurricane app was utilized for sheltering and messaging last month during Hurricane Isaac. Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and tested the material offered in the Red Cross apps.
U.S. Geological Survey shock zone impact maps on the earthquake app allow downloaders to take critical action steps, and notifications display the epicenter of the earthquake, the magnitude and the intensity. There’s also a messaging feature that enables users to reassure their family and friends via social media that they’re OK; advisories on events that might happen following earthquakes, such as fires and tsunamis; a toolkit with a flashlight, a strobe light and an audible alarm; Red Cross shelter locations; and checklists to create a family emergency plan. The iTunes and Google Play stores carry the earthquake app, by searching “American Red Cross,” and it’s at www.redcross.org/mobileapps.
“This newest app gives instant access to local and real-time information on what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Dan Curtiss, the Emergency Services Director for the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Red Cross. “Arizona residents with the app will receive earthquake notifications and can monitor activity where their family and friends reside. Plus, people who don’t live in earthquake-prone areas can have peace of mind, knowing they’ll possess the updated status of loved ones.”
No Arizona earthquake in USGS recorded history has caused injuries or deaths, but earthquakes in the state aren’t uncommon – last week, a 2.3-magnitude temblor was logged six miles east of Fredonia. And earthquake preparedness drills are held annually, with The Great Arizona ShakeOut slated for Oct. 18. Notable earthquakes have occurred in Flagstaff in 1906 and 1910; in Williams in 1912; in Wellton in 1935; at the Grand Canyon in 1935; and in Ganado in 1950. The largest Arizona earthquake was a 5.6-magnitude temblor near Fredonia in 1959. “A recent Red Cross survey found that apps have tied social media as the fourth-most popular way for people to get information during emergencies, making the Red Cross app development effort even more important,” Curtiss said.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.arizonaredcross.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.