Posted Monday, April 14, 2014 --- 2:00 p.m.
From our news partner WITI in Milwaukee:
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — As the winter thaw continues, the spring rains arrive and the rivers and lakes rise, the American Red Cross is offering a new “Flood App” to help save lives and reduce losses from floods and flash floods.
This free app gives iPhone, iPad and Android smartphone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a flood.
The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device.
The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed.
Within Wisconsin, the Michigan Border Communities and Houston County, Minnesota, the Red Cross responded to 919 disasters last year, yet floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
The Red Cross app helps create emergency plans so all household members know what to do if flooding threatens. With audio alerts, people can be warned even when they are away from their radio or television.
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 gives users 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
-Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks
The app is the latest in the series of Red Cross emergency preparedness apps that put lifesaving information right in the hands of people whenever and wherever they need it.
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 4 million mobile devices.
The Flood App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Androidby 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.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and helps people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these preparedness apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort.
People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.