Social media and mobile apps have proven to be some of the best ways to stay in-the-know when news breaks—a reality that is never more apparent than during a major disaster.
In a world of constant connectivity, the Red Cross has recently introduced a suite of mobile apps that offer preparation and lifesaving information with the touch of a button. All of the apps offer preloaded information that can be accessed even if there is no data connectivity with fun and interactive quizzes to get even the littlest smart phone users prepared.
For those of us in Central Texas, the most relevant applications offered by the Red Cross are Tornado, Wildfire and Shelter Finder Apps. While tornadoes tend to occur during late spring to mid-summer, wildfires can happen anytime…and of course, our Texas summers have proven to provide especially high-risk conditions.
“Wildfire” by the American Red Cross gives the latest state-by-state wildfire news and updates and features step-by-step instructions letting you know what to do before, during and even after wildfires have crossed your path – again, even without data connectivity. The application also includes the “Wildfire News” section that links all fire-fighting agencies’ Twitter feeds and websites allowing the most current updates to reach everyone the quickest. With features like “Click to call” accessing to latest traffic information, “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text, and “Red Cross Shelters”, this app will also let users stay connected to friends and family, allowing less panic and worrying!
With a long history of dealing with every type of disaster imaginable, The American Red Cross has found a way to translate that organizational experience into helpful, potentially lifesaving, information for everyone. Earthquake, Tornado, and Hurricane round out the types of natural disasters covered by these apps, while the First Aid App and Shelter Finder App were created to provide expert emergency advice right in your hand.
The newest application launched by the American Red Cross is the “Team Red Cross” App. With 94 percent of the organization’s workforce comprised of volunteers who respond to over 70 thousand disasters each year, this volunteer application enables current volunteers to log-in and stay involved. Those interested in getting involved with the Red Cross can easily become part of the team with this app’s volunteer opportunity notices and ability to share opportunities with friends and family – encouraging everyone to get involved!
There has never been an easier way to connect with the American Red Cross. Plan, prepare, and keep your family safe and ahead of a disaster with ARC’s suite of mobile apps available on iTunes and Google Play app stores. An overview of each mobile application as well as links to each app store can be found at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.