CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A new warning system launched by the American Red Cross will alert users of iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones whenever a tornado is near.
The Tornado App is the latest in a series of mobile apps created by the Red Cross to help save lives during hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and other natural disasters, The Journal Review reports (http://bit.ly/Y9X9nZ ).
Denise Maxwell, director of the Montgomery County Red Cross chapter, said the app issues a high-pitched siren whenever a tornado is near.
"It's really great because most tornadoes happen at night when people are sleeping. This app will wake up you in the middle of the night and give you a chance to get in a safe place," she said.
The app also provides tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts tied to the user's location, along with enhanced weather maps. Users receive an "all-clear" message when the threat has passed and can also use the app to alert family and friends that they are safe.
Other features include checklists to create an emergency plan, a flashlight and a list of open Red Cross shelters.
The free app is available in English and Spanish.
The app was launched this month as part of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Maxwell said early feedback has been positive.
Information from: (Crawfordsville) Journal Review, http://www.journalreview.com