New Wildfire App Brings American Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

New Wildfire App Brings American Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

"Blaze Tracker" features give users warning, alerts and fire information for locations of their choice


WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On the heels of a major
drought and busy wildfire season, the American Red Cross today released its
official Wildfire App. The app puts lifesaving information right in the hands of
people who live in or who visit wildfire prone areas.


This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the fourth in a series
created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency
preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Wildfire App
comes after the highly successful First Aid, Hurricane and Earthquake Apps,
which have more than 1.2 million users.

“It is vital that people know what to do to help protect themselves, their
loved ones and their property from wildfires,” said Scott C. Somers, Ph.D.,
member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and fire management
expert based in Arizona. “App users have instant access to our ‘Blaze Tracker’
features so they know what to do before, during and after wildfires and make the
critical decisions that can save lives.”

This year, the Red Cross has launched 11 large wildfire relief
operations spanning 10 states. According to the National Interagency Fire
Center, as of October, wildfires have burned 8.8 million acres in the United
States this year.

The Wildfire App includes:

  • The “Blaze Tracker” trio of features-which can be customized for alerts
    specific to locations where they live, travel or have loved ones:

    • “Blaze Warnings” which let users see areas where NOAA has issued
      warnings that conditions are favorable for potential wildfires;
    • “Blaze Alerts” inform users when a wildfire has begun within 100 miles
      of any locations monitored;
    • “Blaze Path” from which provides users with a current view of an
      existing wildfire’s perimeter, how it has spread and the fire’s current
      location when available;

  • Comprehensive reporting of all wildfire activity for every geographic area
    in the United States;
  • Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user language
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance
    to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action
    steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social

“One of the reasons why the Red Cross has emerged as a leader in mobile
preparedness is our ability to provide users with location customization,” said
Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the
Red Cross. “Wildfire App users can receive notification of wildfire risk and
activity within 100 miles of locations that matter most to them – whether it’s
the community where they live or the places where friends and loved ones live.”

National Red Cross experts in health, safety and preparedness have thoroughly
reviewed and field tested the information and advice provided in
Red Cross apps. 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.

The Wildfire App can be found in the
Apple App Store and the
Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red
Cross. Apps can help prepare people for disasters, but they are not a substitute
for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know
how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. People
can go to for course information and to

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and we help
people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these apps for free. The
Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort.
People can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to, texting REDCROSS
to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters,
feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40
percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides
international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their
families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on
volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For
more information, please visit or join our blog at

SOURCE  American Red Cross

New Wildfire App Brings American Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices