Most of the time, we are faced with tough situations that we know nothing how to go about. And that sucks, especially when such situations draw a fine line between life and death. Hence, it is imperative to be always prepared to face anything and everything life throws at us. Good thing the American Red Cross has us covered, at least for natural and man-made disasters. Here, we highlight 6 Emergency Apps, all free and made by the non-profit organization, that are aimed at promoting emergency preparedness and information dissemination.
For those who are living in earthquake-prone areas, just like me, the Earthquake app could be your lifesaver. Get notified whenever an earthquake occurs and better prepare your family and hope. The app provides offline step-by-step instructions on what to do before/during/after an earthquake, a must-have especially when there is no electricity or data connectivity. You also get instant notifications from the US Geological Survey (USGS) whenever an earthquake occurs, as well as perceived shaking impact of quakes on your area of interest. An “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter and email is also available to help you notify your loved ones that you are okay after a disaster strikes. The app also helps you find an open Red Cross shelter within the vicinity, and keeps you safe should there be no electricity with its built-in strobe light, flashlight and audible alert function.
If you are clumsy like me, you might want to download the First Aid app. It offers videos, interactive quizzes and a simple step-by-step guide through everyday first aid situations. It is also fully integrated with 911, hence you may call directly from the app anytime, anywhere. It has virtually every safety tip for every imaginable situation, from severe winter weather to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Content is also pre-loaded, which means you may access the wealth of information inside the app whenever you please.
For anyone who lives in areas that are almost always hit by hurricanes, you may easily monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm’s track using this app. It also features the “I’m safe” messaging button to broadcast reassurances to family and friends that you are safe. Using location-based NOAA weather alerts, you get periodic updates on the weather directly from the app. You can also identify open Red Cross shelters easily, as well as maintain an easy-to-use family emergency plan. As with the Earthquake app, the Hurricane app also comes with a flashlight/strobe light and audible alarm toolkit.
Available as a standalone app, the Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an intuitive map interface. Other pertinent shelter details such as the agency managing the shelter, capacity, associated disaster event and specific address are all available in the app as well. Using data from the American Red Cross National Shelter System (NSS), which contains information about 60,000 potential disaster facilities, emergency managers and disaster relief workers are given relevant information for all shelters in use and to develop effective response strategies before disasters strike. Shelter information is updated regularly, usually every 30 minutes.
To get all the information and training you need to be best prepared for a tornado, this app is for you. It gives step-by-step instructions to help you know what to do even if the cell towers and TVs are down. Whenever NOAA issues a tornado warning, the app sounds an audible siren even when the app is closed, helping reduce the chance of you sleeping through an emergency. More so, you may help distant friends and family in tornado alley with the app’s ability to receive tornado watch and warning alerts based on their location from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An “I’m Safe” button and an emergency toolkit also come standard with the app, as well as preloaded content for your convenience.
For wildfires, this app is for you. Blaze Warnings from the app lets you see where NOAA has issued wildfire warnings, Blaze Alerts notify you whenever a new wildfire occurs, while the Blaze Path Tracker gives you a real-time view of the wildfire’s perimeter and direction. Offline step-by-step instructions comes standard to educate you what to do before/during/after wildfires, while the Wildfire News section boasts of state-by-state links to all fire-fighting agencies’ Twitter feeds and websites ensuring the most recent developments on current wildfires.
For more information on these useful free apps, you may visit the American Red Cross website.