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Preparation, Pretty Lights are High Points of Red Cross Hurricane App
by Mary-Devon Dupuy
The 2012 hurricane season has been kind to the Crescent City so far, but the Red Cross has just released a free Iphone app to remind us that we’re not in the clear yet. Until November, New Orleans residents need to gather emergency supplies, map out their evacuation routes, and come up with family plans before it’s too late. The new app, simply called, “Hurricane,” gives people all the information they could possibly need to prepare before a hurricane, and maybe even a little bit to help out during the throes of a big storm.
The application tracks its users' locations, offering them points on a map where they can find the shelters closest to them. There is also a section called, “Prepare,” in which users can find information regarding what to do right before, during, and after a hurricane, as well as a “Plan Ahead,” section. As most of us know, there is absolutely no phone reception during a hurricane, so the app may prove useless as a tool for the actual storm. However, the gobs of features for pre-planning make it worth the phone memory.
If you didn’t already know what the categorical threshold is for a hurricane to become an imminent threat, (spoiler alert: it’s a Category 2) or if you don’t know exactly how many gallons of water each person should have in the house in case of a major storm, you have a lot to learn from The Red Cross’ app. There are quizzes on hurricane history, knowledge, and how to prepare for storms to test your knowledge once you think you’ve adequately prepared. Of course, there is also an “alerts” section with push notifications provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service. The best part of the app: it comes with a strobe light.
That’s right, if you press the tool box at the top left hand corner, you can access the app’s “Emergency Tools.” There is a flashlight, a strobe light, an alarm siren, and even an “I’m Safe,” message prepared to be tweeted, facebooked, text messaged, or emailed to friends and loved ones.
Download the app here.
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