A Year of Red Cross Apps Helping Save Lives in Nebraska & Iowa

Red Cross Tornado App
I never have to stay up at night again worried a tornado is coming when there’s a watch.

In just one year since the launch of the American Red Cross First Aid app, people across the country have downloaded what has grown to five free life-saving new apps more than 3 million times, giving them vital information when it matters most in everyday emergencies and threatening large-scale disasters.

The First Aid app, which was launched in June, 2012, is the most popular of the five free apps and has been downloaded more than 1.4 million times. It was followed by four more disaster apps: hurricane, earthquake, wildfire and tornado. Each one provides users with lifesaving information at their fingertips. The five Red Cross apps are popular with users, with average ratings of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars by users. The suite of apps received the “Best in Show – Most Life Changing Product” award from iPhone Life magazine at the recent CTIA-The Wireless Association Conference.


The First Aid app is an easy way to get lifesaving first aid instruction anytime, anywhere.

“I was in my friend’s car,” one app user posted, “when suddenly a friend of mine start(ed) having a seizure. I immediately looked at this app for help while calling 9-1-1 on another phone. I told the police about it and they said that there’s a good chance the information in this app saved my friend’s life.”

App features include step-by step instructions for first aid scenarios and a 9-1-1 call button, as well as safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe weather and disasters.


People have increasingly turned to Red Cross apps to help get through disasters including the recent Oklahoma tornadoes. Amid the Oklahoma tornadoes this past May, the Tornado App was the number one free weather app and number 14 of all free apps, generating 167,000 new downloads, 4 million page views and 2.6 million weather alerts.

“(The app) saved my life,” one app user posted. “I was in Oklahoma when the twister hit. The warning came on and I had enough time to gather everybody up and discuss our plan. We checked some info about where to go safely using the app and we found the best places. Thanks to this me, my kids, my wife, my parents and their neighbors are all safe.”

Another user posted, “I never have to stay up at night again worried a tornado is coming when there’s a watch. I have a nine-month-old. I’m terrified one will come and I won’t have enough time to get to her room and downstairs. I’ve had apps before that don’t work every time. This one actually does. Multiple times. Thanks. Love it.”

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.”


The Red Cross hurricane app was released last August and has been downloaded 824,000 times, making it the second most popular Red Cross app. Downloads jumped amid Superstorm Sandy, when the Red Cross Hurricane App was the number one free weather app, number 2 of all free apps, generating 400,000 new downloads, 8 million mobile page views and 6 million weather alerts.

“While waiting for Hurricane Sandy to arrive, I had no TV updates so this was great to help me,” posted one app user. Time called the Hurricane App, one of “8 apps for keeping tabs on the ‘storm of the century.’”

The Hurricane App is designed to give instant access to local and real-time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. The app recently received the “Outstanding Achievement” award at this year’s National Hurricane Conference.


The Red Cross earthquake app, which was launched in September, has had more than 189,000 downloads and has been promoted as a preparedness step in shake-out drills in earthquake-prone states. The wildfire app, released in October, has 56,000 downloads and provides users with prevention and evacuation information including Red Cross shelter locations.


Learn more about our suite of free Red Cross mobile apps. Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

Part of being prepared for emergencies is being trained in First Aid and CPR/AED. Red Cross training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. You can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.