Red Cross Urges Wichita Falls to Prepare for Severe Weather

WICHITA FALLS, TX, April 17, 2013 — The American Red Cross is urging residents in and around Wichita Falls, Texas to make sure households, schools and business are prepared for possible severe weather including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.

“Listen to weather alerts and designate a safe space where people can gather for the duration of the storm,” said Katrina Farmer, executive director, American Red Cross. “The area should be an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.” Additionally, the Red Cross is urging local residents to download their free tornado app to stay aware of approaching storms.

Download Tornado App

The American Red Cross Tornado App is available in English or Spanish and 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 free app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. This feature allows users to make critical decisions and to take actions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe even in the middle of the night. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.

Other features of the app include:

• Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;

• One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;

• Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;

• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and

• Locations of open Red Cross shelters.

“If a tornado is threatening your area, listen for alerts and warnings, grab your emergency preparedness kit and head to your designated safe area,” Farmer added. “Be prepared to evacuate the area afterwards if necessary.”

The Tornado App, along with other apps, 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. People can go to redcross.org/tornado for more safety tips.

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 join our blog at blog.redcross.org.