published Monday, March 4th, 2013

Red Cross app offers tornado warning via smartphone

Now your smartphone or tablet can help you be smart about tornadoes.

The American Red Cross has released a mobile app to help people prepare for tornado season.

Available in English or Spanish, the app instantly provides users with information about what to do before, during and after a tornado, according to a news release.

If a tornado warning is issued by NOAA, the app will sound a high-pitched alert. It will also let the user know that it is safe again with an "all clear" signal.

"Tornadoes often happen in the overnight hours when people are sleeping," Mary Beth Birge, emergency services director for the Red Cross East Tennessee Region, said in the release. "The audible alerts in this app can save lives -- even if users can't monitor the weather because they are away from the radio, TV or in places where weather band radios may not work."

In addition to audible alerts, the app provides users with checklists for emergency plans, certain pre-loaded content that doesn't require mobile connectivity, locations of Red Cross shelters and other features.

This and other weather apps available for iPad, iPhone, and Android smart phones and tablets, can be found in the iTunes store or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

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