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Red Cross demonstrates disaster app

COLONIE -- The Red Cross has a free app that alerts you to all types of disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires), plus information on first aid and where to find shelter.

From your mobile phone, call **REDCROSS (**73327677) and you will receive a link to download the iPhone / Android app or visit iTunes or Google Play app stores.

The applications feature step-by-step instructions to help you know what to do even if the cell towers and TVs are down. You will also find safety tips for everything, from severe weather to what you need to know if you are ever in a situation where someone may be drowning or choking.

"We're really trying to focus on making skill training more available," says, Gary Striar, Chief Executive Officer of the Northeastern American Red Cross.

You can prioritize actions for before, during, and after emergency situations, and it requires no mobile connectivity.

The applications also come with flashlights and audible sirens that go off automatically even if the app is closed.

There are currently six separate apps you can download:
1) Tornado App
2) Hurricane App
3) Shelter Finder App
4) First Aid App
5) Earthquake App
6) Wildfire App

You can also let friends and family know you're safe with one touch. The "I'm Safe" notification allows users to broadcast reassurance to loved ones that they are out of harms way. This notification is easily sharable through social media, text and e-mail.

The applications provide an opportunity to prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit in the event of power outages or evacuations. It also allows you to learn how to make and practice an emergency plan.

"It's free, it's easy and it doesn't take too much time," adds Striar. "People can just go to these apps and very quickly learn basic skills in terms of first aid and how to prepare for disasters. There are great video tutorials and check lists available."

If you would like to learn more about the Red Cross, or if you are interested in more expert advice for everyday emergencies, click here.

The applications are available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
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