The American Red Cross has announced its launch of an official Tornado App, which puts lifesaving information into the hands of people who live in, visit or have loved ones in tornado-prone areas.
The free app -- available in English or Spanish --gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
The app includes a high-pitched siren and "tornado warning!" alert that signals people when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued in their area -- even if the app is closed. An "all clear!" alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been canceled.
Other features of the app:
• Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts
• Enhanced weather maps and information provided by Weather Underground, a digital brand of The Weather Company
• One-touch "I'm safe" messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends that they are out of harm's way
• Simple steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members
• Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity
• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm
• Locations of open Red Cross shelters
• Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
Launched during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the Tornado App is the latest in a series of mobile apps created by the Red Cross, the nation's leader in emergency preparedness. The apps have been used to help save lives during hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.
The Tornado App is 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.