Red Cross launches customizable emergency app

The American Red Cross has launched a new emergency app for smart phones and tablets that gives instant access to weather alerts, life-saving information, and ways to contact family and friends.

The app provides expert advice on what to do in case of disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, home fires, wildfires and more. The free app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

“When an emergency occurs, it’s important for families to stay safe and connected,” said Louise Welch Williams, chief executive officer of the Red Cross Palmetto SC region. “Our emergency app does that. It covers 14 different types of disasters and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts so that they will know what to do no matter where they live or travel.”

“Family Safe” is a 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.

The emergency app features include:

Emergency first aid information for situations such as heart attacks and 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 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.

A “Make a Plan” feature to help families plan what to do and where to go if a disaster strikes.

In addition, 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.

In South Carolina, the American Red Cross, on average, responds to a disaster every four hours. Because of volunteers and financial assistance from the community, the Red Cross was able to help more than 7,000 individuals affected by disasters, the majority of those being home fires, in the state last year.

To help neighbors affected by disasters, become a Red Cross volunteer or make a financial contribution to the Red Cross, go to redcross.org/SC or find out more during Lowcountry Giving Day on May 5.