American Red Cross unveils new programs to keep people informed
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD - The American Red Cross recently launched a free new mobile application to help save lives during hurricane season.
The Hurricane App, available to users on both iPhone and Android platforms, contains a number of features to increase hurricane preparedness, spread emergency information, and connect with friends and loved ones, who may be concerned from afar.
"The American Red Cross feels that it is extremely important that people can access hurricane preparedness information right on their mobile device," said Michele Jones, communication specialist for the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region. "With natural disasters, it's vital that people can share weather warnings, preparedness information and update their own personal status immediately with their social networks."
The Aug. 1 launch of the application comes just in time for what traditionally is the busiest period of hurricane season for this area.
Features include location-specific weather alerts, a hurricane preparedness checklist, local shelter information, and an "I'm Safe" button that, with one tap, allows users to post a message to social network accounts to let family members and friends know they are safe.
The application was built by the American Red Cross and released following its popular Red Cross First Aid App, which has had about 600,000 downloads since its availability in July, Ms. Jones said.
The American Red Cross' applications should be used only as an aid for safely staying in the know about hurricanes, she said.
"While apps can help prepare you for disasters, it is important to remember that downloading any of our apps is not a substitute for training," Ms. Jones said.
To learn more about Red Cross first aid and CPR courses, visit redcross.org/takeaclass.