This free app -- available in English or Spanish -- gives iPhone,
iPad and Android smartphone 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 canceled.
"Tornadoes often happen in the overnight hours
when people are sleeping," said Amy Eden, emergency services manager
for the Illinois Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross. "The audible
alerts in this app can save lives -- even if users can't monitor the
weather because they are away from radio, TV or in places where
weather-band radios may not work."
Other features of the app are:
NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning
safe" messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to
family and friends that they are out of harm's way.
Simple steps and
checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share
it with household members.
that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even
without mobile connectivity.
Tool kit with
flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.
Locations of open
Red Cross shelters.
Badges users can earn through
interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
Launched during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the
Tornado App is the latest in a series of
created by the Red Cross, the nation's leader in emergency
preparedness. The apps have been used to help save lives during
hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.
"The Red Cross has made great strides in putting vital
information in the hands of people who need it during emergencies.
In fact, our apps are now on more than 2 million mobile devices
across the country," said Jamie Davis, emergency services manager
for the Mid Illinois Chapter.
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Mobile activity soared due to
More than 400,000
people downloaded the Red Cross Hurricane App.
Nearly 6 million
NOAA weather alerts were sent.
content was the most popular feature of the app, followed by
alerts and the shelter locator.
The average time
spent using the app increased 300 percent.
The app had 15 million page views.
Right after the storm, the Hurricane App was updated with
real-time recovery information including Red Cross shelter and
feeding sites, FEMA sites, open gas stations, and warming centers to
help those affected by the storm.
Tornado App, along with the others, is available in the Apple
App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for
American Red Cross or by going to
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. For course information and to
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and
helps 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
to the Red Cross by going to
redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional
support to victims of disasters, supplies nearly half of the
nation's blood, teaches lifesaving skills, provides international
humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families.
The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government
agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the
American public to perform its mission.
[Text from file received from the
American Red Cross,
Illinois Capital Area Chapter]