Helping to put lifesaving information into the hands of smart phone users, the American Red Cross has several free apps for shelter locations, first aid tips and instruction, and hurricane preparedness. The launch of a new iPhone serves as an important reminder to download these safety apps to help prepare families and individuals should an emergency arise.
Just a couple weeks ago thousands of people downloaded the Hurricane App as Hurricane Isaac threatened Florida and the Gulf Coast. The app put real-time information on hurricane safety at people’s fingertips while keeping individuals and families informed of the storm’s progress from the National Weather Service. The app also features information on Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with flashlight and alarm, and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button connecting to social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay.
Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile devices during emergencies to provide information, useful tools and a way to let loved ones know they are safe, according to a new survey conducted by the American Red Cross. Mobile apps now tie social media as the fourth most popular way to get information in an emergency, following TV, radio and online news. The Red Cross survey found that 20 percent of Americans said they have gotten some kind of emergency information from an app, including emergency apps, those sponsored by news outlets and privately developed apps.
Other key findings from the Red Cross survey include:
The Red Cross continues to encourage people to call 9-1-1 as the best first action when in need of emergency assistance. At the same time, the organization is responding to the interest in mobile assistance by releasing a series of free preparedness apps for both iPhone and Android users throughout the fall.
Links to the apps can be found at redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps. The Hurricane and First Aid Apps can also be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.