A new mobile information service from the American Red Cross promises to help save lives and reduce losses from floods and flash floods.
The free Flood App gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a flood. The program, available in English and Spanish, includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed.
“Floods are the most common natural disaster in the nation,” says Mike Mason, regional disaster and program officer for the Maine Region of the Red Cross. “Mainers can use this app to create emergency plans to prepare for a potential flood, and the audible alerts on the app can save lives when flooding is imminent.”
Other features of the app include:
• One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;
• Preloaded content that provides instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;
• Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
• Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and
• Interactive quizzes that users can take to earn “Badges” or share on social networks.
The Flood App is the latest Red Cross emergency preparedness tool that puts life-saving information into the hands of people when and where it’s needed. The expert advice in Red Cross apps, which also includes apps for First Aid, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other services, has been used to help save lives during disasters and medical emergencies. Red Cross apps have been downloaded on nearly four million mobile devices.
The Flood App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.