On the heels of Severe Weather Week in Ohio, the American Red Cross is urging area households, schools and business to take steps to be prepared for possible severe weather, including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.
“Listen to weather alerts and designate a safe space where people can gather for the duration of the storm,” said Beth Leggett, Ottawa County Director. “The area should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.”
The American Red Cross has also launched a free Tornado App, available in English or Spanish available for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. The app gives users instant access to local and real-time information so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
It includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued, a feature designed to help users make critical decisions and to take actions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe even in the middle of the night. An “all clear” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.
Other features of the app include:
• Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;
• 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;
• Preloaded content that offers instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
• A toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm;
• Locations of open Red Cross shelters.
“If a tornado is threatening your area, listen for alerts and warnings, grab your emergency preparedness kit and head to your designated safe area,” Leggett added. “Be prepared to evacuate if necessary and have a communications plan in place with your family including an out-of-town contact.”
The Tornado App, along with other apps, can be found 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. Visit to redcross.org/tornado for more safety tips.
For more information about the Red Cross, visit redcross.org/northwestohio, follow the organization on Twitter at @redcrossnwo or like Red Cross of Northwest Ohio on Facebook.