Monday, July 14, 2014

Tornado App "interruptions" can be life-saving

I was having a nice, leisurely Sunday dinner with the family yesterday afternoon when our meal was interrupted by a phone going off. Normally, I would be embarrassed to admit it was my phone that ruined the conversation, but not in this case. You see, it wasn't just a text or an email I was getting, it was a tornado warning alert from my Red Cross Tornado App, and it could have been a life-saver.

Because of my role with the Western New York/Finger Lakes Region, I have set my app to monitor all 17 counties that we cover. This alert did not affect Wayne County, where my family was enjoying dinner with my folks, so no action was needed on our part. However, had we been in Schuyler or Chemung Counties, we would've known it was time to take immediate action and head to the basement until the danger had passed.

This morning, the National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-1 Tornado did touch down in Schuyler County on Sunday. Thankfully, the Red Cross has only been asked to help one family whose home was severely damaged in the Town of Reading, but this storm comes just a week our Central New York neighbors were devastated by a tornado that unfortunately claimed four lives in Smithfield.

Clearly, the danger of tornadoes is real for those of us in Western New York and the Finger Lakes, and the time to prepare is now. Please download the FREE Tornado App for your iPhone or Android device today and get real-time severe weather alerts and information wherever you currently are. Once you have the App, follow the preparedness tips it provides, things like putting together an emergency kit and creating a household plan. Then, should the tornado warning alert where you are--and trust me, no one will be upset about that interruption--you'll be prepared to keep your family safe.

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