New Wildfire App Brings American Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

On the heels of a major drought and busy wildfire season, the American Red Cross has released its official Wildfire App. The app puts lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit wildfire prone areas.

This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the fourth in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Wildfire App comes after the highly successful First Aid, Hurricane and Earthquake Apps, which have more than 1.2 million users.

The Wildfire App includes the “Blaze Tracker” trio of features-which can be customized for alerts specific to locations where they live, travel or have loved ones:

  • “Blaze Warnings” which let users see areas where NOAA has issued warnings that conditions are favorable for potential wildfires;
  • “Blaze Alerts” inform users when a wildfire has begun within 100 miles of any locations monitored; and
  • “Blaze Path” from Inciweb.org which provides users with a current view of an existing wildfire’s perimeter, how it has spread and the fire’s current location when available.

Additional features include:

  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

The Wildfire App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. 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 go to redcross.org/takeaclass to find a course near them.

This year, the Red Cross has launched 11 wildfire relief operations spanning 10 states. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of October 4, wildfires have burned 8.8 million acres in the United States this year.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these 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.

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