The American Red Cross suite of mobile apps put expert First Aid and disaster preparedness information in the palm of your hand. The apps contain resources about what to do before, during and after disasters to help keep you and your family safe. The Red Cross has released Spanish-language versions of the First Aid and disaster apps and is encouraging families to download these free tools.
“With natural disasters, it’s vital that people can receive and share warnings, preparedness information and their own status immediately with their social networks, and that’s what these Red Cross apps do,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “If people can take only one step to make their family better prepared for disasters, they should download these free Red Cross apps and help their loved ones download them too.”
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, chairwoman, New Jersey Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Preparedness, visited the American Red Cross in Fairfield where Axel Miranda, director of external relations, American Red Cross North Jersey Region, and Alyssa Dreikorn, American Red Cross digital product development project management associate, demonstrated the features of the Spanish-language apps and explained how they can help families in New Jersey better prepare for emergencies.
Dreikorn showed Assemblywoman Quijano how both the Spanish- and English-language disaster apps give people local and real-time information for severe weather or disaster threats, and offer step-by-step instructions that let users know what to do before, during and after a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, wildfire and flood.
“Disasters can happen suddenly and without warning,” said Assemblywoman Quijano. “It’s important to have a family emergency plan in place and an emergency kit on hand before disasters strike. Downloading the free Red Cross apps is a great step to help families be better prepared.”
All the apps offer pre-loaded content ensuring that Red Cross guidance is available anytime, anywhere – even if no Internet connection is available. Another important feature in the disaster preparedness apps allows users to let family and friends quickly know they are safe with a customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text. The apps also have interactive quizzes that allow people to earn badges that they can share with friends on social networks.
SPANISH LANGUAGE APPS The Red Cross apps now have a feature that enables users to easily toggle between English and Spanish language on their app. Previously, users needed to set their entire phone language to either English or Spanish. The Red Cross, with its experience working with people during disasters, knows that people behave differently when under stress – such as a First Aid emergency or a weather emergency. In these times, people want to consume important information in the language they are most comfortable with. The Spanish toggle makes the lifesaving information in the apps easier to get in emergency situations
“The free Red Cross Spanish-language apps make mobile devices a lifeline for emergency information for families before, during and after disasters,” said Nelessen. “The Red Cross wants as many people as possible to benefit from the crucial emergency information available via mobile apps.”
The Red Cross created and released the six Spanish-language version mobile apps at a time when smartphone use among Hispanics is surging. A 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found that Latinos own smartphones and go online from a mobile device at similar – and sometimes higher – rates than other groups of Americans.
Overall, the award-winning Red Cross apps have been downloaded more than 4.7 million times.
TAKE A CLASS The Red Cross is an established leader in teaching people the skills they need to survive life’s emergencies and wants people to be ready to respond to emergencies and spread emergency information on their social networks, anywhere, anytime – even if they don’t have formal training. While apps can prepare people for disasters, it’s important to remember that downloading any of the Red Cross apps is not a substitute for training. To learn more about Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses or to register, visit redcross.org/TakeAClass.