On the heels of a busy wildfire season across the United States, the American Red Cross has released its official Wildfire App. The app puts lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit wildfire-prone areas and gives residents instant access to a ‘Blaze Tracker’ features so 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:
The “Blaze Tracker” trio of features-which can be customized for alerts specific to locations where they live, travel or have loved ones:
o “Blaze Warnings” which let users see areas where NOAA has issued warnings that conditions are favorable for potential wildfires;
o “Blaze Alerts” inform users when a wildfire has begun within 100 miles of any locations monitored;
o “Blaze Path” from Inciweb.org which provides users with a current view of an existing wildfire’s perimeter, how it has spread and the fire’s current location when available;
· Comprehensive reporting of all wildfire activity for every geographic area in the United States;
· Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user language settings;
· 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; and
· Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
Wildfire App users can receive notification of wildfire risk and activity within 100 miles of locations that matter most to them – so they can help protect their loved ones and their property.
National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps. 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.
To download the app, visit the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. 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 go to redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.
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 redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.