Red Cross Releases Flood Awareness App

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JEFFERSON CITY - The arrival of spring means flood season for mid-Missouri. The American Red Cross said people who live in areas under flood watches or warnings shouldn't worry just yet.  

The Red Cross unveiled a new free flood application for smartphones and tablets Monday as part of Flood Safety Awareness Week.

"This is the latest in a series of apps that the Red Cross has put out that are all free to download," Red Cross Community Market Manager Clayton Kennedy said.

Kennedy also thinks the app is necessary because natural disasters can catch people off guard.

"We are releasing it at this time of the year because flood season is just starting," Kennedy said. "Often times people associate floods with massive amounts of rain, but sometimes a flash flood can hit even if it hasn't been raining."

The app gives instructions on what to do in the event of a flood, finding open American Red Cross shelters, and sending "I'm safe" notifications to the user's family and friends.

"The app uses modern social technologies to help a family, even respond to the flood and let everyone know that they're safe by sending out a blast to all the different social apps," Kennedy said.

The Red Cross said users shouldn't worry when cell phone towers are down because the app searches warning and watch locations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based the position of the phone or tablet. The app has been pre-loaded with content. 

Kennedy says hopefully the app's creation will lower deaths from natural disasters.

"So much of the damage and destruction and lost lives happen because people aren't aware," Kennedy said. "This will help alert them to it when it's happening."

Other apps the American Red Cross has include:

- Wildfire
- Tornado
- Earthquake
- First Aid
- Hurricane
- Shelter Finder
- Pet First Aid
- Flood

Users also have the capability to take quizzes about natural disaster prevention as well as learn general flood knowledge. 

Flood Safety Awareness Week runs through Saturday, March 22.