The American Red Cross has launched its official Tornado App, which it hopes will put lifesaving information in the hands of people who live in, visit or have loved ones in tornado-prone areas.
The free app is available in English and Spanish. It gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone 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 user know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.
Other features of the app include: location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flood watch and warning alert, enhanced weather maps, and one-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends that they are out of harm’s way.
It also includes steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members, preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical steps, even without mobile connectivity, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.
The app also has locations of open Red Cross shelters and badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
The app is part of the Red Cross’s participation in National Sever Weather Preparedness Week. It can be found in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by visiting redcross.org/mobileapps.