WASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross has released an all-inclusive Emergency App giving people instant access to weather alerts, life-saving information, and ways to contact family and friends in one free, easy-to-use app for mobile devices.
The Emergency App combines content from a group of award-winning Red Cross apps with additional information about what to do in case of 14 different types of emergencies and disasters. It also allows users to customize more than 35 emergency alerts based on their location and where loved ones live.
"What makes this app different is that it is a single 'go-to' source for everything from a hurricane, to a severe thunderstorm, to a home fire," said Dominick Tolli, vice president of emerging products and workplace safety for Red Cross. "It also allows you to instantly alert loved ones when a disaster is about to strike their community and see if they are okay using Family Safe."
"Family Safe" is a new, unique feature that allows the app user to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. The recipient can instantly see the alert details as well as specific "what to do now" steps, and then respond with either "I'm safe" or "I'm not safe." This feature works even if the recipient has not downloaded the Emergency App. In addition to smartphones and tablets, this feature will be available on the new Apple Watch and can be downloaded from the Apple Watch App Store starting April 24.
Other important features include:
Emergency first aid information for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies as well as water safety information;
Preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity;
A single map with open Red Cross shelter locations and weather information;
A home fire section with detailed prevention and safety tips as well as Red Cross "After the Fire" information;
"Make a Plan" feature to help families plan what to do and where to go if a disaster strikes; and
The ability to easily toggle between English and Spanish.
The app is free and available in app stores for smartphones and tablets, and can be found by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Red Cross apps have been downloaded more than 6 million times and nearly 400 million alerts have been sent since the launch of the first app in 2012. In the past year alone, more than 350 million pages were viewed across all fifty states and the "I'm Safe" feature was accessed just over 550,000 times across all preparedness apps.
While apps can help prepare someone for disasters, it's important to note that they are not substitutes for training. People can take Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses so they'll know what to do in case help is delayed. They can get information and register at redcross.org/TakeAClass.
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.orgor visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.