Monday, April 8, 2013

Wildfire? There's an app for that!

There are media reports this morning regarding a swamp fire burning in Lewiston. Officials say there's no danger to people or buildings at this time, but what if that were not the case? Wildfires may not be everyday occurrences in WNY, but they can happen, and the Red Cross has an app for that (and other potential disasters, too)!

Our FREE Wildfire App--available in English and Spanish for use on both iPhone and Android platforms-- includes the “Blaze Tracker” trio of features, which can be customized for alerts specific to locations where they live, travel or have loved ones:
  •        “Blaze Warnings” which let users see areas where NOAA has issued warnings that conditions are favorable for potential wildfires;
  •          “Blaze Alerts” inform users when a wildfire has begun within 100 miles of any locations monitored; and
  •          “Blaze Path” from which provides users with a current view of an existing wildfire’s perimeter, how it has spread and the fire’s current location when available.
Additional features include:

  •        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;
  •          Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  •          Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  •          Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  •          Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
The Wildfire App--along with the Tornado, Earthquake, Hurricane, and First Aid apps--can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can go to to find a course near them.

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