You may have heard the sirens Thursday afternoon in Minnesota.
It was the annual tornado drill, designed to remind all of us about the importance of getting to a safe place when we hear the siren.
But what if you're not in a position to hear the warning sound and it's not just a drill?
There's a new app The Red Cross developed, that you can download to your smartphone and have the critical information in the palm of your hand even if you are in an area with no sirens or other modes of a warning. That's when you can turn to your smartphone.
Judy Hanne Gonzalez, Executive Director for the Northland Chapter of the Red Cross, says, "It's designed to let people know how to prepare for and respond to and recover from tornadoes."
The app gives real–time information from the National Weather Service. It also allows the user to alert family and friends that they are safe and out of harm's way. Gonzalez says, “It has a flash light, strobe light, it has an alarm that will go off even if the phone is off."
The app offers provisions for personal configuration. It can be set to alert you based on your GPS location whether you're out of town or just visiting friends across town.
Mike Stewart, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service Duluth office says, "What's nice about the app is it gives the user tornado safety rules. If you're outside if you're inside. Safe places to be in case of a tornado, and when we do receive a warning, how to react."
It will also provide directions to the nearest aid station. Gonzalez says, "It will show you wherever there's a Red Cross station open in the country."
It's an app designed to saves lives in modern times. And you can find it here:
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