OMAHA, NEB., Monday, June 2, 2014 — The American Red Cross is urging residents in Nebraska and Iowa to make sure households, schools and business are prepared for possible severe weather including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.
“Now that many schools in Nebraska and Iowa are on summer break, we encourage parents to take time today to review with children, babysitters and young adults what to do when there is severe weather,” said Jill Orton, Region Disaster Officer. “Listen to weather alerts and designate a safe space where people can gather for the duration of the storm. The area should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.”
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life or death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for tornadoes by:
Download Tornado App
The American Red Cross Tornado App is available in English or Spanish and gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
The free app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. This feature allows users to make critical decisions and to take actions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe even in the middle of the night. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.
Other features of the app include:
“If a tornado is threatening your area, listen for alerts and warnings, grab your emergency preparedness kit and head to your designated safe area,” Orton added. “Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.”
The Tornado App, along with other apps, can be found in the Apply App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. People can go to redcross.org/tornado for more safety tips.
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. 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.