By: Angelina Nachimuthu
In this season of floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, how do you know if you are prepared? How do you know if your family and friends are safe? How do you keep up with all the alerts? What should you do during a flood or a hurricane or a tornado or even during chemical emergencies at home? The all-in-one Red Cross app called “Emergency” can answers all these questions and more. The Emergency app combines all the information from various Red Cross apps into one powerful app which helps you stay alert and be prepared for 14 and more disasters and emergencies.
Jessica Debalski, the American Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer for the Texas Gulf Coast Region, said, “When an emergency occurs, it is important to have instant access to real-time information about what to do, where to go and how to connect with family and friends. Our Emergency App makes that possible. It covers more than 14 different types of emergencies and disaster scenarios and lets you select locations to monitor, exchange messages with family and friends and customize alerts.” She added, “By preparing together for emergencies we can make our families safer and our communities stronger. The app includes quizzes, expert advice about planning ahead and preparing for emergencies and disasters as well.”
- Stay Alert: The Alerts tab lets you add locations and people in the location. During disaster you can use the Family Safe feature to notify your friends and family members that you are safe and also check with them if they are safe. You can also customize the alert radius and notification settings for each location.
- Be Prepared: The Prepare tab lists the various emergencies and provides expert advice about planning ahead and preparing for each emergency. The disasters have more detailed steps about what to do before, during and after a disaster. The Prepare tab also includes a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light, audible alarm, and tornado siren. It also lets you a make an evacuation plan and meeting points.
- Test Your Knowledge: The Quizzes tab, lets you test your knowledge about each emergency. Do you how to conserve water during drought? Do you know that flash floods can occur even if no rain has fallen and that 6 inches of water is enough to knock you out? Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning? The quizzes are a fun way of learning details, about emergencies, that can make a difference when you are faced with one.
- Learn More: While apps can help prepare someone for disasters, it’s important to note that they are not substitutes for training. You should take Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses so you will know what to do in case help is delayed. The Info tab of the app provide class information and provides access to other Red Cross apps. It also lets you change the default language from English to Spanish.
- View Weather Maps and Find Shelters: The Maps tab, shows you map of the location you select and overlays it with selected hurricane tracker, radar, satellite, clouds, rain, wind speed or snow filter. You can also customize the map to display where your family and friends are located. In addition, the app provides a list of shelters that are open in your location. When in a disaster, you can check the app and seek refuge in one of the listed shelters.
So are you ready to check it out? To download the Emergency app, Text GETEMERGENCY to 90999 or search “Red Cross Emergency” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. In addition to smartphones and tablets, this feature will soon be also available on the new Apple Watch and can be downloaded from the Apple Watch App Store.