The Red Cross announced Monday the releasing of their official Tornado App, that they say puts lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in, visit or have loved ones in tornado-prone areas.
This free app, available in English or Spanish, gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
The app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued in your area, even if users have the app closed.
An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.
“The alerts in the Tornado App can save lives,” said Jim Judge, preparedness expert, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee and chair of its Preparedness Sub-Council.
“Now, when a tornado warning is issued in the middle of the night, the siren alert can wake people up so they can head to a safe area. Users can even receive alerts when they are away from their loved ones or don’t have access to radio or TV,” Judge explained.
The app also includes location-based alerts for severe thunderstorm and or flash flood watches and warnings.
Inside the app, there's a toolkit that has a flashlight, strobe light, and alarm to help out in an emergency situation or notify search teams of where you are. There's also tornado trivia and climatology using data gathered by the National Weather Service (NWS).
This is the fifth free weather safety app released by the American Red Cross.
“With more than 2 million downloads, our apps have already helped save lives during hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires,” Judge added.
During Hurricane Sandy, over 400,000 people used their Hurricane App.
The month of March signals the beginning of the tornado season in Mississippi, which runs through early May. April is historically the most active month for tornadoes.
The NWS has already confirmed nine tornadoes hit the state from January into February including a powerful EF-4 tornado through Hattiesburg.
The overall most active period for tornadoes historically in the United States is from April through June.