New earthquake app brings Red Cross safety information to mobile devices
Did you feel that? Now you can confirm whether that shaking was caused by an earthquake or the truck rattling down the street.
The American Red Cross recently launched an earthquake app, providing alerts and lifesaving information to people in earthquake-prone areas, such as the Yuma area.
The free app for iPhones and Androids is available in both English and Spanish. It shows shock zone impact maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Notifications display the epicenter of the earthquake, the magnitude and the intensity.
The app reminds downloaders of the critical action steps they must take after an earthquake.
There's also a messaging feature that enables users to reassure their family and friends via social media that they're OK.
It also includes advisories on events that might happen following earthquakes, such as fires and tsunamis; a toolkit with a flashlight, a strobe light and an audible alarm; Red Cross shelter locations; and checklists to create a family emergency plan.
“This newest app gives instant access to local and real-time information on what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Dan Curtiss, the emergency services director for the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Red Cross, which includes Yuma County.
“Arizona residents with the app will receive earthquake notifications and can monitor activity where their family and friends reside. Plus, people who don't live in earthquake-prone areas can have peace of mind, knowing they'll possess the updated status of loved ones.”
No Arizona earthquake in USGS recorded history has caused injuries or deaths, but earthquakes in the area aren't uncommon, especially in and around Yuma County. On Sept. 29, a 3.2-magnitude temblor was logged in 32 miles southwest of San Luis, Ariz.
Earthquake preparedness drills are held annually, with The Great Arizona ShakeOut slated for Oct. 18. Notable earthquakes in the state have occurred in Flagstaff in 1906 and 1910; in Williams in 1912; in Wellton in 1935; at the Grand Canyon in 1935; and in Ganado in 1950.
The app is the third in a series created by the Red Cross. It comes on the heels of the first aid and hurricane apps, which have been downloaded more than a million times since June.
People have used the first aid app to control bleeding, care for broken bones and help people having seizures, according to the Red Cross. The hurricane app was utilized for sheltering and messaging during the recent Hurricane Isaac.
Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly reviewed and tested the material offered in the apps, the Red Cross stated in a news release announcing the app.
“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,” Curtiss said.
The apps can be found on the iTunes and Google Play stores by searching “American Red Cross.” It can also be found at www.redcross.org/mobileapps.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.