Earthquake App Brings Safety Information to Mobile Devices

The American Red Cross released its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas.

This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have more than 1 million users.

“This app gives users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Dr. Steven J. Jensen, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee, and a professor in emergency management at California State University at Long Beach. “The new, simplified ‘Shake Zone Impact Maps’ provide users with personalized local impact information on the status of their community in order to help them make crucial decisions.”

Features of the app include:

  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • Personalized push notifications, monitoring both magnitude and geography;
  • A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
  • Comprehensive reporting of all seismic activity for every geographic area in the United States;
  • Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

“The new customizations and introduction of the ‘Shake Zone Impact Map’ can help individuals and families gain a better understanding of the effects of earthquakes both near their homes or where friends and family reside,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “With more than 1 million downloads and high praise from the digital community, the Red Cross has established itself as a leader in mobile apps that put critical information in people’s hands when they need it most,” McMaster added.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps. A recent Red Cross survey found that apps have tied social media as the fourth most popular way for people to get information during emergencies, making the Red Cross app development effort even more important.

The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can visit redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

Volunteers Needed: Green Bay Packers Spooktacular Event

Recoveron Tailgate Party Raises $1,000 for American Red Cross

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Special Event Coordinator, Andy Kaye, president of Recoveron and Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive

A special tailgate party hosted by Recoveron Restoration & Industrial Services earlier this month helped raise $1,000 for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. Dozens of people came together September 9th to both celebrate the start of a new season and support a good cause.

“The outpouring of support from those who attended the tailgate party is tremendous and will help the Red Cross continue to provide much needed services to victims of disaster,” said Andy Kaye, president of Recoveron. “As a local restoration company, we work with individuals, families and businesses that have just experienced a significant disaster in their lives, including fires and floods.”

During local – and national – disasters, the Red Cross provides basic emergency needs such as shelter, food, medications, baby formula and more. This is on top of the emotional support and health services the Red Cross provides at the scene of disasters; most of which are local fires. “With support from business like Recoveron, we are better prepared and ready to respond around the clock,” said Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin.

Recoveron Restoration & Industrial Services is a full-service restoration company, specializing in fire, water and mold restoration for both commercial and residential losses. Recoveron also provides a variety of industrial applications. Recoveron serves all of eastern Wisconsin with locations in Green Bay and Plymouth, WI. For more information, go to: www.recoveron.com

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/newisconsin or join our blog at http://newredcrossblog.org.

Welcoming our Newest Board Member, Tom Rettler

By Lauren Lindstrom, American Red Cross Communications Intern

We are excited to introduce one of the new additions to the Northeast Wisconsin Red Cross Board of Directors, Tom Rettler.

He’s an Appleton native who returned to the area four and a half years ago after more than 20 years in Milwaukee. He serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Menasha Corporation.

A busy man in the office and at home, Tom is married with three kids, two in college and one beginning kindergarten in the fall. He says his hobbies include fishing and golf, but most of his limited free time is spent enjoying time with his family.

Tom calls himself a “periodic blood donor” who saw an opportunity to get more involved with the community in another way. He is also a board member on the Menasha Corp Foundation, and felt he could also assist the NEW Red Cross with his skill set and career history.

Why Red Cross?

“It’s an efficiently run organization,” Rettler said. “As a CFO, using donor dollars well is something I am sensitive to…people want to see the money go to the problem, not overhead.”

Kewaunee Celebrates our Veterans and Active Military

By John Kost, Regional Manager, Service to Armed Forces

Saturday, September 15, representing the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program I was with the community of Kewaunee celebrating Veterans and the work and sacrifices they have given to our country.  It is amazing to be in a close community such as this that takes time to honor and remember those who have served and continue to serve. Local veterans from past and current wars are coming through and sharing their experiences with each other and if you are lucky, as I am, they share a part of their service with you.

Long Serving Fond du Lac Volunteers Retire

We want to say THANK YOU to two of our longer serving volunteers from Fond du Lac who have recently retired from their volunteer work. Sherrie Wittkopf (left) has served for 15 years and Judy Bender, RN for 10 years. Thank you ladies for your service and commitment to the American Red Cross.

More than One Million Download Red Cross Mobile Safety Apps

The American Red Cross today announced that over the past three months, more than one million smart phone users have downloaded the recently released First Aid and Hurricane Apps.

These free apps are part of a series created by the American Red Cross for both iPhone and Android platforms. The apps provide users with real time information on what to do before, during and after emergencies.

 “The advances in smart phone technology have allowed the Red Cross to revolutionize how the public gets its safety and preparedness information,” said Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. “We’ve moved from having volumes of general information sitting on shelves to putting emergency-specific information right in people’s hands.”

Early evidence suggests that this is making a difference in emergency situations. In online reviews of the app, people have reported using the First Aid App to respond to everything from cuts and sprains, to choking, seizures and strokes. According to one user, “I was in my friend’s car with two others when suddenly my friend started having a seizure. I immediately looked at this app for help while calling 9-1-1 on another phone. I told the police about it and they said that there’s a good chance the information in this app saved my friend’s life. Thank you, American Red Cross.”

 “As Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast, our Hurricane App was put to the test,” McMaster added. “Hundreds of thousands of people downloaded the app and spent an average of 30 minutes using the app – demonstrating its value to consumers.”

Nearly 2 million weather alerts were issued and usage of the Shelter Finder feature doubled during and after Isaac. People also used the app to send “I’m Safe” messages to their loved ones.

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in Red Cross apps.

Apps can help prepare people for emergencies, but they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass for course information and to register.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

 About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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