The American Red Cross offers several apps to assist you when disaster strikes, including Tornado by American Red Cross and Wildfire by American Red Cross.
The Red Cross sent out 2.1 million severe weather notifications over the weekend through its tornado app for tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings.
In the wake of the weekend's tornadoes, the Tornado App is of mounting importance.
The app comes with a variety of important features including a siren that automatically goes off (even if the app is closed) when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues a tornado warning to help reduce the chance of sleeping through a warning.
Push notifications are sent when a tornado warning expires, which are especially important if power goes out and you and your family are in a safe room.
The app's Toolkit includes a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions can be used during a power outage and let others know where you are.
If someone needs to find a shelter, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter or access the Red Cross shelter map which is updated every 30 minutes with shelter locations by address, city, state and/or zip code.
Another important app for our region is the Wildfire by American Red Cross.
The Wildfire App provides the latest state-by-state wildfire news and updates, and let loved ones know you're safe even if the power is out.
The application also provides step-by-step instructions to let you know what to do before/during/after wildfires, even if there is no data connectivity.
The app's click-to-call function allows you to access your state's 511 network for the latest traffic information in case of evacuation.
Both the Tornado and Wildfire apps offer informational content including how to assemble an emergency kit, how to make and practice an emergency plan, and more.
They also have a customizable "I'm Safe" alert allows you to notify friends and family that you're okay through Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
You can find these apps through iTunes or the Google Play app stores.
Learn more about these apps and their functions at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.