Red Cross Hurricane App: Review

Here in the U.S. we’re in the middle of Hurricane Season — it ends Nov. 30, 2012 this year. The season’s been off to a bit of a slow start over the Atlantic but, as we on the East Coast know too well, it’s typically the later months of summer that bring the most devastating storms.

So I checked out a new American Red Cross app — it’s called Hurricane — to help you get prepared in case of a storm.

hurricane app shots 1

Jack McMaster, president for Preparedness and Health and Safety Services at the American Red Cross, put it this way:

“This free Hurricane App puts personalized preparedness information in the pockets and purses of those who need it…We’re especially proud of the app’s social features that will help friends and families stay in touch during storms, reducing much of the fear and uncertainly for loved ones and property owners far away.”

The Red Cross’  first app — First Aid — served up basic first-aid tips and procedures when out and about in this dangerous world. Following its success, the Red Cross released Hurricane and promises more apps for such natural disasters as earthquakes, floods and tornadoes.

See the app in action. This uploaded to Youtube via 3SidedCube:

Hurricane is innovative in how it combines mobile technology, long-standing emergency management practices and community outreach into a single smartphone package.  Check out these features:

  •  Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even if the cell towers are down and the power is out.
  •  Monitor weather conditions in your area or those of loved-ones with location-based alerts for the U.S. and its territories from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  •  Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
  •  Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
  •  Stay safe when the lights are out with the Hurricane Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
  •  Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
  •  Keep your family safe and calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice an emergency plan.
  •  Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your hurricane knowledge with interactive quizzes.
  •  See an illustrated history of hurricanes in your area.
  •  Learn the difference between a hurricane warning and watch.
  •  Know how to what to do about food and drinking water when your area has been impacted by floods and power outages.

Note the cool alerts feature — it lets you set up to inform loved ones that you are okay after the storm and post to popular social media sites when connectivity is available. As long as you’ve got battery power, it lets you review safety instructions and use its built-in Hurricane Toolkit even when the lights are out.

Bottom line: This app is a must-have if you’re in a Hurricane Zone. Find it at iTunes or Google Play.

I’m Chris Poirier and this is, where we know how to be prepared.

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