Earthquake App Brings Safety Information to Mobile Devices

The American Red Cross released its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas.

This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the third 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 Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have more than 1 million users.

“This app gives users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Dr. Steven J. Jensen, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee, and a professor in emergency management at California State University at Long Beach. “The new, simplified ‘Shake Zone Impact Maps’ provide users with personalized local impact information on the status of their community in order to help them make crucial decisions.”

Features of the app include:

  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • Personalized push notifications, monitoring both magnitude and geography;
  • A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
  • Comprehensive reporting of all seismic activity for every geographic area in the United States;
  • Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
  • 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;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

“The new customizations and introduction of the ‘Shake Zone Impact Map’ can help individuals and families gain a better understanding of the effects of earthquakes both near their homes or where friends and family reside,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “With more than 1 million downloads and high praise from the digital community, the Red Cross has established itself as a leader in mobile apps that put critical information in people’s hands when they need it most,” McMaster added.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps. A recent Red Cross survey found that apps have tied social media as the fourth most popular way for people to get information during emergencies, making the Red Cross app development effort even more important.

The Earthquake 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 visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

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.

More than One Million Download Red Cross Mobile Safety Apps

The American Red Cross today announced that over the past three months, more than one million smart phone users have downloaded the recently released First Aid and Hurricane Apps.

These free apps are part of a series created by the American Red Cross for both iPhone and Android platforms. The apps provide users with real time information on what to do before, during and after emergencies.

 “The advances in smart phone technology have allowed the Red Cross to revolutionize how the public gets its safety and preparedness information,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “We’ve moved from having volumes of general information sitting on shelves to putting emergency-specific information right in people’s hands.”

Early evidence suggests that this is making a difference in emergency situations. In online reviews of the app, people have reported using the First Aid App to respond to everything from cuts and sprains, to choking, seizures and strokes. According to one user, “I was in my friend’s car with two others when suddenly my friend started having a seizure. I immediately looked at this app for help while calling 9-1-1 on another phone. I told the police about it and they said that there’s a good chance the information in this app saved my friend’s life. Thank you, American Red Cross.”

 “As Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast, our Hurricane App was put to the test,” McMaster added. “Hundreds of thousands of people downloaded the app and spent an average of 30 minutes using the app – demonstrating its value to consumers.”

Nearly 2 million weather alerts were issued and usage of the Shelter Finder feature doubled during and after Isaac. People also used the app to send “I’m Safe” messages to their loved ones.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps.

Apps can help prepare people for emergencies, 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 for course information and to register.

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.

 About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Red Cross Urges Everyone to Plan for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and our local American Red Cross is encouraging all households to create a family disaster plan to make sure they are ready for the next emergency or disaster.

Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can’t go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other family members.

“Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Lisa Stanchfield, Community Preparedness Coordinator. “Making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency as no one can predict where or when disasters will strike. However, we know preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow.”

Red Cross tools make it easier for people to make or update plans. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone or Android smart phones helps people create a plan, share it with household members and over social networks.

The Red Cross will be participating in a number of community disaster education projects including:

  • Daily, through-out September, we will post special safety & preparedness tips on social media
  • Fondue Fest, Downtown Fond du Lac, Saturday, September 8th 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
  • Town of Menasha Safety Days at the Fire Department, 1326 Coldspring Rd, Saturday, Sept. 8th, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.

Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference

Our Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is hosting the Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference October 18-21, 2012 at the Gruehagen Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Campus. Courses will span several lines of Red Cross services during times of disasters. Two ‘Preparedness Education Leader’s Workshop’ which will provide tools and education to build preparedness skills in your community are on October 18th & 19th. Both long-time Red Cross volunteers and those looking to become involved in either community education, local disaster responses or larger disaster responses such as hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes are invited. Conference details and registration information are available at redcross.org/newisconsin.

Other Ways to Get Ready

The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.

  • Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.
  • Red Cross Ready Rating™ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
  • The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
  • People can visit redcross.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.

About the Northeast WI Chapter:

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit http://www.redcross.org/newisconsin. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org

New First Aid App Brings American Red Cross Safety Tips to Smart Phones

Northeast WI Chapter  — The American Red Cross has launched its official first aid app, putting free and simple lifesaving information right in the hands of smart phone users.

This app is the first in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in first aid and emergency preparedness information. It’s also the only first aid app created or endorsed by the American Red Cross for use on both the Android and iPhone platforms. It gives instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations, and includes videos and interactive quizzes. Users who take quizzes can earn badges they can share with friends through social media to show off their lifesaving knowledge.

Due to the rapid increase in smart phone users, the app takes critical first aid information normally stored on bookshelves and in pamphlets and places it at the fingertips of tens of millions of individuals – which will save lives. The Red Cross app also includes trusted Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations.

The American Red Cross First Aid app users have expert advice in the palm of their hands, it’s simple to use and will aid those in an emergency, whether it’s in the backyard, in the conference room or anywhere in between.

“The American Red Cross First Aid app is a free and easy way to get life-saving first aid instruction and disaster preparedness information anytime, anywhere,” said Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council chair Dr. David Markenson. “Everyone should load this onto their smart phone as an important first step in learning what to do for medical emergencies and in creating a family preparedness plan.”

App features include:

  • Simple step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios;
  • Prioritized steps to take during an emergency, with 9-1-1 call button;
  • Sharable badges to be unlocked through interactive quizzes;
  • Videos and animations to make learning first aid fun and easy;
  • Safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes;
  • Preloaded content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time.

The app is free and available for iPhone and Android users. Find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

The new app builds on the American Red Cross legacy of teaching first aid and life-saving skills to people across the country. An average of more than 9 million people a year receive Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.

Downloading the app is not a substitute for training. To learn more about American Red Cross first aid or register for a course, visit redcross.org/takeaclass.

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NEWRedCross.org. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.