The American Red Cross is launching six free Spanish-language apps for disasters and home emergencies with simple lifesaving information that will help keep families safe.
"Language barriers should never deter those in need from seeking help when disaster strikes," said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "These apps will allow millions of Spanish-speaking citizens to instantly access the resources and help they need in their native language. I thank the Red Cross for this innovation and hope that other charitable organizations will follow in their footsteps."
The six Spanish-language apps are the Red Cross First Aid, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, wildfire and flood apps. The Red Cross First Aid App gives people instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies. The five Red Cross disaster preparedness 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.
“The free Red Cross Spanish-language apps make mobile devices a lifeline for emergency information for families,” said Josh Lockwood, Greater NY Red Cross CEO. “The Red Cross wants as many people as possible to benefit from the crucial emergency information available via mobile apps.”
The Red Cross apps of particular relevance to people in the Greater NY Region are the First Aid, Hurricane and Flood Apps. But here in our region over the past 3 years, we’ve also experienced tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires.
The Red Cross apps 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 life-saving information in the apps easier to get in emergency situations.
Each one of these Spanish-language apps are free and available for iPhones and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. They can also be found at www.RedCross.org/SpanishApps (English) or www.RedCross.org/AppsenEspanol (Spanish).
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 allow people to earn badges that they can share with friends on social networks.
The Red Cross created and released the six Spanish-language mobile 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.
“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,” Lockwood said. “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.”
These six free Spanish-language apps build on the Red Cross legacy of teaching life-saving skills to people across the country. Overall, the award-winning Red Cross apps have been downloaded more than 4.7 million times.
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.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.