Safety App Of The Week

April 29, 2013 No Comments

Below is our “Safety App of the Week”.  These weekly features are published every Monday.  New apps are tested on Apple iPads and rated from to ♥♥♥♥♥ (♥♥♥♥♥ is the best).  Prior app of the week articles are archived here.

Tornado by American Red Cross

Official Description  

“Get your family and home ready for a tornado. The American Red Cross tornado app is the complete solution you need to understand and prepare for a tornado and all that comes with it.  With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready!


  • Audible siren when NOAA issues a Tornado warning for any of your monitored locations letting you know when it’s time to go to your safe room plus an all-clear alert when the warning expires (Note: Alerts’ sounds will NOT override if phone is on vibrate or in sleep mode)
  • Simple step-by-step instructions to help you know what-to-do even if the cell towers and TVs are down. Prioritized actions for before, during, and after requires no mobile connectivity
  • Help distant friends and family in tornado alley with ability to receive tornado watch and warning alerts based on their location from NOAA
  • Red Cross location-based open shelters map for when you need it most
  • Be ready should a tornado hit by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation
  • Reduce your household’s stress and anxiety should a tornado hit by learning to make and practice an emergency plan
  • Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your tornado knowledge
  • Know how many tornadoes have occurred in your area
  • Know the difference between a watch and a warning
  • Learn how to deal with food and water impacted by floods and power outages
  • Simply let friends/family know you’re safe with customizable “I’m Safe” notification sharable thru social media, text and email
  • Let others know where you are with the Toolkit’s strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions”1

Thumbs Up

  • cost is free
  • no registration or sign in required
  • well organized – easy and logical to use without any instruction
  • wow, this app does not disappoint, in fact, it’s one of the few apps whose description does not overstate its’ capabilities
  • some state governments in the USA are encouraging their employees who work at remote locations to upload this app to their iPhones and iPads
  • a must have app for anyone who is in a tornado prone area
  • the Safety Awakenings team lives in tornado prone areas, with the tornado season soon upon us, we will be taking our iPads/iPhones loaded with this app everywhere we go
  • while this app is excellent, do not use it as an excuse to toss your radios (weather band, AM/FM, short wave, ham) – when it comes to tornado alerts, redundancy is a good thing
  • in addition to this terrific tornado app, the Red Cross also has ♥♥♥♥♥ apps on: hurricanes,  wildfires,  and earthquakes
  • UPDATE May 30, 2013 – there was bad weather in our area today and a “tornado warning” was issued.  We received numerous notifications from this app on our iPads about the tornado warning.  Wow, this app sure works great!

Thumbs Down

  • the “shelter” directory needs updating – we checked it and found that the closest designated tornado shelter to our home office was 424 miles away; in fact, there are dozens of officially designated tornado shelters right here within 10 miles of our location

Overall Rating

  • iPad – ♥♥♥♥♥
  • Android – ♥♥♥♥♥

¹ Descriptions courtesy of Apple Inc.

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