American Red Cross creates tornado app

American Red Cross creates tornado app

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Tornadoes are probably one of the most dangerous weather events we can experience. Yet it often comes with little warning. But now, life-saving weather information is in the palm of your hand.

"We found out that mobile technology is tied with social media for fourth behind TV, radio and online news in the way that people get their emergency information," said Ruben Brown of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross created a tornado app for smartphones. After downloading the app, available on both Android and iPhone platforms, you can get pertinent information before, during and after a tornado.

Before the storm, the app gives tips on being prepared.

"You can learn how to get a disaster kit, what to put into the kit, water, medications, et cetera. That's a great part of the tool, and it's also available even if the TV and cell phone towers go down, that information is still available on this application," said Brown.

During the storm, if danger is close, you may hear a warning -- a siren.

"That's linked to the National Weather Service.  If your zip code is in this device and even if the app is closed, if it's on your nightstand, if you're fast asleep, which is when a lot of tornado activity occurs, you're going to get that siren and be able to take action immediately," Brown said.

The app includes features like a flash and strobe light for finding your way should you lose power.

And after the tornado, the app gives the location and directions to the nearest Red Cross shelters. It also has an "I'm safe" feature.

"You can push one button. It's integrated into your social media channels, your email, whatever you want to use to let your friends and family know that you're safe and out of harm's way," Brown said.

Since the 1950s, the southeast has had more than 400 tornados, making the app a necessity.

"You want to make sure you've got this app available, so that if and when you need it, you and your family can make life-saving decisions," said Brown.

The app is free of charge and is available in English and Spanish. For more information and to download the app, click here!

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