Monday, October 22, 2012
The American Red Cross has launched its official Earthquake App, putting additional lifesaving information literally in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas, like Arkansas, with the infamous New Madrid Fault in northeastern Arkansas, and recent albeit small quakes across central Arkansas.
This free app-–available in English or Spanish-–is the third in a series created by the Red Cross, for use on iPhone and Android platforms. The Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have been downloaded more than 1 million times.
“This newest app gives instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said American Red Cross In Arkansas Communication Information Officer, Brigette Williams. “Arkansans will receive earthquake notifications and can also monitor quake activity where other family and friends reside.”
Arkansans have experienced minor tremors in recent years, most notable, a 4.1 in February, 2011 that was felt by many across the state, as well as Tennessee and Oklahoma. “With much concern for the potential for a devastating quake to occur in Arkansas, and the need for ongoing preparation, the earthquake app is another valuable tool for residents to add in their disaster planning,” stated Williams.
New “Shake Zone Impact Maps” show give users personalized local impact information to help them make crucial decisions.
Features of the app include:
· Earthquake notifications showing the epicenter, magnitude and intensity maps;
· 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;
· Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
· 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.
Over the past three months, the Red Cross has made great strides in putting vital information in the hands of people who need it during emergencies. More than 1 million people have downloaded the First Aid and Hurricane Apps.
“People have already used the content in our First Aid App to control bleeding, care for broken bones and to help people having seizures,” stated Williams, “Our Hurricane App was used to find Red Cross shelters and send “I’m safe” messages during Hurricane Isaac. Arkansans were also able to receive flash flood and tornado watches and warnings issued as Tropical Storm Isaac moved across the state. The app’s use and response has been incredible.”
“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,” added Williams.
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, more than 2,000 in Arkansas primarily residential fires. To help more people to be prepared to respond to emergencies the Red Cross provides these apps for free.
Posted by Kevin C. Shinn at 8:44 PM