American Red Cross Launches Free Tornado App

Mar 6, 2013

2010 tornado in Iredell County, NC
Credit England / Flickr

A new tornado app from the American Red Cross is out this week. Available in both English and Spanish, it gives users instant access to local, real-time information on severe weather alerts and warnings. Barry Porter from Triangle Red Cross says it's linked directly to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"It's absolutely like the old-fashioned weather radio. But now you get to carry it around on your smartphone. You can program it when you go to other locations and don't have the weather alert radio with you. It will automatically travel with your GPS system and alert you to severe weather in and other parts of the country you may be visiting."

The app will sound a high-pitched siren in the event of a tornado warning even if the app is closed. It will issue an 'all-clear' when a warning has expired or been canceled. Free downloads are available for iphone, ipad, and Android users.

Other features of the app include:

  • Enhanced weather maps
  • Checklists for creating an emergency plan
  • One-touch 'I'm safe' messaging to give status update to family and friends
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters    
  • First-aid tips
  • Toolkit wit flashlight, strobe light, and alarm