September 25, 2012

New MUST-HAVE earthquake app from the Red Cross

Posted by Austin Elliott

This morning the American Red Cross released a brand new app designed to help guide you before, during, and after an earthquake. This app is a must-have if you live in earthquake country, which we’ve recently been reminded means pretty much all of us. It’s a great thing to have if you live out west, where we’re plagued by earthquakes that will undoubtedly recur in our lifetimes, but the simple checklists and guidelines contained in the app are invaluable to people living in less quake-savvy regions, where earthquakes are a remote, distant risk not often considered.

It’s free, and it’s chock full of both information and practical tools. It basically turns your mobile device into an all-in-one post-quake tool, info center, and instruction guide. I think you’ll want to have it.

The app includes step by step instructions–and checklists! to keep you on task–for before, during, and after an earthquake.

It includes a toolkit with shortcuts to the phone’s flashlight, strobe, and alarm so that you can find your way around or others can find their way to you after a quake.

There’s a special page that helps you easily set up and share your emergency plan. This is key. This is a step that everyone is repeatedly told to take, but so few take it seriously. With this app–in like three clicks of the buttons–you have an emergency plan that you can share with your whole family. Brilliant. Do it.

Map functions are also included, showing you the locations and shaking intensities of earthquakes close to your location, as well as maps showing nearby Red Cross shelters that have been set up.

Of course the program wouldn’t be complete without links to a companion Red Cross First Aid app with emergency tips and instructions, as well as a quick link to donate money to their disaster recovery funds.

This app brilliantly exploits the many functions of a smartphone, taking full and clever advantage of its role in disseminating crucial information straight to our pockets.

Get it!

I would also highly recommend the Red Cross’s companion apps, First Aid and Hurricanes.