Red Cross rolls out series of emergency apps
by Jessica Loeding
Dec 16, 2012 | 4412 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In an emergency, recalling proper procedure can be difficult. The American Red Cross hopes a new series of apps available for smartphones will alleviate that.

Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia Jeffrey Putnam said the free applications, which began about a year ago, are a major asset for the area’s residents.

“[The series of apps is] huge because we live with our phone. A lot of people don’t have home phones,” he said. “This is a quick and rapid and safe way” to get information in an emergency.

Available for Android and iPhones, the apps include First Aid, Hurricane, Earthquake, Shelter Finder and the latest addition, the Wildfire app.

Dwayne Jamison, division chief for Bartow County Fire Department Training & Special Operations, said the most recent addition may seem geared more toward Western states but it remains relevant to Bartow County.

“Although we don’t normally have huge wildfires in the South like they do out West, these apps can provide valuable information in time of wildfires to our citizens locally. Just because it doesn’t commonly happen here doesn’t mean that it won’t,” he said, adding that the First Aid app is something everyone can use.

Occupational Health & Safety magazine said the Wildfire download also aids first responders.

“The app comes with a ‘toolbox,’ including an audible alarm, a flashlight and a strobe light. These features can help rescue crews find stranded or trapped, and could also be used by wildfire crews and responders to find trapped personnel during incidents,” the magazine reported.

Putnam said the series on natural disasters offers citizens scenarios on what to do before, during and after the catastrophic event.

The apps also offer a shortcut for dialing 911, he added.

According to the American Red Cross, the remaining two apps — Tornado and Flood — will be added to the options in the coming months.

While Putnam said the nonprofit is “trying to keep up with the times” through the mobile technology, the agency still runs on volunteers and contributions.

“The Red Cross is volunteer-driven. … We’re donation driven. Always keep us in mind for donations,” he said.

Anyone interested in learning about volunteer opportunities is encouraged to visit www.redcross.org/ga/rome. For more information on the American Red Cross or the series of emergency apps, visit www.redcross.org.