After the tragic storms that occurred on April 27th, it makes you realize how important it is to be prepared for situations like this. You must aware of the weather conditions so that you may remain as safe as possible. One way you can to this is by having the Red Cross Tornado App. This was the first tornado warning I experienced while having the app. To be honest, I did not download the app until the sirens came on. I didn’t download the app earlier, not because I didn’t think I would need it, but because I didn’t want to need it. After living through the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri and hearing about the Moore, Oklahoma tornado last year, I wanted to shut out everything that reminded of the seriousness of tornadoes. I just wanted it to disappear.
However, a tornado warning did occur this season, like it does every year. So, I downloaded the app while I was hiding in my laundry room waiting for the storm to go away. I did it so that I could track the storm and know if I was in danger. I cannot express the comfort it gave me during the storm. Unlike other storms, I could finally keep an eye on the tornado while in my safe place. Through the app I could see the storm’s previous path, speed and direction, time remaining in the warning, and more. This time, I wasn’t wondering, “Where’s the tornado? Is it going to hit me?” Instead, I was following the storm the entire warning. Because I want you feel the same ease and security I felt by being informed, please download the app.
Not convinced yet? Well, then. Let me describe some of the useful features of the app and see if that entices you. First, it has a siren and warning alert to let you know when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as an all-clear notification when tornado warnings expire or are canceled. Thus, if you can’t hear the sirens, your phone has you covered. The app is also a fantastic communication tool. There is an “I’m Safe” button that you can use to let loved ones know that you are okay after a storm has passed. So you won’t have to feel the same anxiety I did in 2011 when I could not get a hold of friends to know if they were okay. In addition, the app also has the ability to locate Red Cross shelters, so you will always have a safe place.
Over the weekend, the Red Cross sent out 2.1 million severe weather alerts through the Tornado App, between tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings. Wouldn’t you like to be one of the people receiving those notifications? Get the app here: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/tornado-app.
If you would like to help those affected by the storms, donate to the Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10, or go to redcross.org to make a donation.
Story by: Ashton Yust, American red Cross Communication Intern