Occupational Health & Safety

Red Cross Wildfire App Brings Help at the Touch of a Screen

A new app provides real-time safety information to those in the path of deadly wildfires.

When it comes to wildfires, there usually isn’t much you can do but be informed and get out of the way. And now, there’s an app for that. Making wildfire safety a little bit easier, the American Red Cross is presenting a new tool to keep users up-to-date when facing a wildfire.

Blaze Tracker, the fourth app that the American Red Cross has released, will present users with important safety information with the touch of a screen. Released for both Apple and Android phones and tablets, this app comes on the heels of a report stating that homes in 13 states in western U.S. were at risk for wildfire hazards. In fact, The CoreLogic 2012 Wildfire Hazard Risk Report puts about 740,000 homes worth $136 billion at high or very high risk.

According to a statement released by the American Red Cross, the organization has launched 11 wildfire relief operations in 10 states in the last year.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

The Blaze Tracker app is free and available in English and Spanish. It can be programed to alert users of wildfire warnings, wildfires within 100 miles of monitored locations, and viewable maps of wildfires’ paths and perimeters.

Previous apps released by the American Red Cross focus on hurricanes, earthquakes, and first aid. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store for Android.

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