Today marks the one-year anniversary of a tornado that left a path of destruction near Corning and in Elmira. The fierce storm destroyed 16 houses and left nearly 100,000 people without power. Phones were out. Tree limbs and wires were down everywhere. Travel was nearly impossible.
American Red Cross volunteers quickly went into action, opening a shelter and mobilizing Emergency Response Vehicles. Some of these volunteers were in the Red Cross office when the tornado hit and did not go home for days to see if they sustained damage to their own homes.
During an unexpected disaster, like this one, Red Cross volunteers were there to help with shelter, food and a shoulder to lean on. More than 50 people stayed in a Red Cross Shelter in Elmira seeking refuge. Red Cross partnered with the Foodbank of the Southern Tier and the Caton Fire Department providing more than 12,000 meals, water and dry ice from NYSEG to remote areas in Elmira, Caton, Lindley and Corning. Red Cross volunteer disaster responders knocked on doors, making sure everyone was safe and well. They listened intently to the stories told by residents and helped to provide calm in the aftermath.
Today, the American Red Cross is helping you to prepare, offering preparedness training and an award winning Tornado app. The Tornado app, launched in March, has already had more than 594,000 downloads, and CNN has called the Tornado App one of the “7 apps to survive a tornado.”
This free app—available in English or Spanish—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 app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals people when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued in their area – even if the app is closed. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.
The Tornado App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.