“I’m Safe” feature lets people alert their loved ones with a push of a button
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported today the Atlantic hurricane season may be busier than originally forecast and the American Red Cross urges those living in areas prone to the strong storms to get ready now.
The new forecast calls for 12 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher, up from the May report which called for nine to 15 named storms. At least two to three of these could be major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph. The higher numbers are linked to wind patterns conducive to causing storms and warmer sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic.
The American Red Cross launched its official Hurricane App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit hurricane prone areas.
This free app is the second in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. It gives instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. Building on the Red Cross’ leadership in the social media space, the app also includes a number of features that allow people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks who might also need it.
“Hurricanes may not directly affect the Colorado region, however, we want everyone to be to be ready and have a communication plan with their loved ones who may live in these areas,” said Catherine Barde, Director of Communications, Pikes Peak Chapter. “The Red Cross Hurricane App allows people to receive and spread emergency information and to share their own status with friends and loved ones through social networks, anywhere, anytime.”
The launch of the Red Cross hurricane app comes just before what is traditionally the busiest period of the Atlantic hurricane season. Features of the app include:
· 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;
· Location-based NOAA weather alerts for the United States and its territories users can share on social networks;
· Remote monitoring of personalized weather alerts where family and friends reside
· Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
· Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
· Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
· Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
· Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
The app enables people across the country to receive alerts for locations in areas where they like to vacation or where loved ones live, giving peace of mind to travelers, people who winter in warmer climates, and those with elderly relatives or college students in coastal areas.
National Red Cross experts in health, safety, and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in this app.
The Hurricane App follows the recently released Red Cross First Aid App which has had nearly 600,000 downloads in just six weeks. Testimonials and positive reviews have shown how dozens of people already have used the app to help in real-life situations.
The Hurricane and First Aid Apps can be found in the App stores or by searching for American Red Cross. Downloading the First Aid app is not a substitute for training. First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visitredcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.