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New Red Cross Wildfire App Brings Safety Information to Mobile Devices

Wildfire App
“The Wildfire App gives Ventura County residents instant access to information on preparing for a wildfire and what to do if a wildfire occurs.” - Jim McGee, CEO of the Red Cross Central Coast Region

CAMARILLO, CA, October 24, 2012 — The American Red Cross has released its official Wildfire App just as Ventura County enters the most dangerous time of year for wildfires. The app puts lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit wildfire prone areas.

This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the fourth in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness. It can be used on both the iPhone and Android platforms. The Wildfire App follows the release of the highly successful First Aid, Hurricane and Earthquake Apps, which have more than 1.2 million users.

“The Wildfire App gives Ventura County residents instant access to information on preparing for a wildfire and what to do if a wildfire occurs,” said Jim McGee, CEO of the Red Cross Central Coast Region. “With this information, they can prepare their households and businesses and make critical decisions that can save lives.”

This year, the Red Cross has launched 11 wildfire relief operations spanning 10 states. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of October 4, wildfires have burned 8.8 million acres in the United States this year.

The Wildfire App includes:

  • “Blaze Tracker” features give users warning, alerts and fire information for locations of their choice
  • 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;
  • 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
  • "This app is a tremendous complement to the award-winning "Ready, Set, Go!" wildfire preparedness program we have here in Ventura County," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen. "The app provides real-time information for people preparing to evacuate their homes. It's the type of information that saves lives in an emergency."

    The Wildfire App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or at www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.

    The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to www.redcross.org/ventura, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.