“Blaze Tracker” features give users warning, alerts and fire information for locations of their choice
Contact: Public Affairs Desk
Telephone: (202) 303-5551
FOR MEDIA ONLY
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — On the heels of a major drought and busy wildfire season, the American Red Cross today 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.
This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the fourth in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Wildfire App comes after the highly successful First Aid, Hurricane and Earthquake Apps, which have more than 1.2 million users.
“It is vital that people know what to do to help protect themselves, their loved ones and their property from wildfires,” said Scott C. Somers, Ph.D., member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and fire management expert based in Arizona. “App users have instant access to our ‘Blaze Tracker’ features so they know what to do before, during and after wildfires and make the critical decisions that can save lives.”
This year, the Red Cross has launched 11 large wildfire relief operations spanning 10 states. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of October, 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:
Other features include:
“One of the reasons why the Red Cross has emerged as a leader in mobile preparedness is our ability to provide users with location customization,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “Wildfire App users can receive notification of wildfire risk and activity within 100 miles of locations that matter most to them – whether it’s the community where they live or the places where friends and loved ones live.”
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.
The Wildfire App can be found in 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.