The American Red Cross is working around the clock to help people in Oklahoma and throughout the Midwest in the aftermath of recent devastating tornadoes, just as volunteers did three years ago when a tornado ripped through Northwest Ohio.
“Events like these are a reminder that tornadoes can strike anywhere and at any time. It’s best to prepare for them before the weather turns bad,” said regional chief operating officer and emergency services director Kenneth Robinson, “As a father of two boys, I feel it’s important to make sure other youth in our community know how they can prepare and react to severe weather.”
A valuable tool in being prepared for tornado season is the new and American Red Cross Tornado App, Robinson said.
Call **REDCROSS” (**73327677) from a mobile device to receive a text message with a link to download the app, or get it directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.
With schools closed for the summer, many students will be home alone during the day. In the age of electronic gadgets and indoor playtime, the app offers a convenient, way for youths to keep weather safety information at their fingertips.
The app is available for Apple and Android devices. Some features include:
• Instant access to local and real-time information;
• Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;
• Interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice to prepare for severe weather;
• A high-pitched tornado warning siren (even if the app is closed);
• Preloaded content to access critical information even without mobile connectivity;
• One-touch “I’m safe” messaging to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via text, web, or social media;
• Simple steps and checklists to create an emergency plan;
• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.
The Red Cross also encourages parents to have a conversation with their children about tornado safety, download the app to their child’s smart phone, and explore it together. Information about tornado preparedness and severe weather safety is available at redcross.org/tornado.
To help those affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises, make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.