As the Caribbean region braces itself for another hurricane season, experience with previous hurricanes like Ivan, Gilbert, David, Andrew and Hugo remind us all of the critical importance of protecting our families and safeguarding against loss of life and property.
Recognizing that the Caribbean is a tech savvy society with a high mobile phone penetration, the Red Cross National Societies in the Caribbean have created a Multi-Hazard Mobile App which is freely available to all.
In partnership with the American Red Cross and Global Disaster Preparedness Center, with support from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the app delivers life saving practices directly to your iPhone or Android device.
The technology allows you to track storm progress, including local alerts, and advises what to do in the event of a natural disaster. It provides simple steps and checklists to help prepare and respond to emergencies, including hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, and can be accessed without a mobile connection.
The app is highly versatile and can be personalized to filter alerts to a specific location, as well as link users to diverse social media outlets. The “I’m safe” feature, for example, allows users to widely broadcast their safety status to friends and family using multiple social media platforms.
‘‘The new Multi-Hazard App is a key tool that will enhance communication and coordination to prepare and respond to multiple disasters in the region, an important achievement as we start a new hurricane season.” said Ms. Lorraine Mangwiro, Regional Representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “We want people
to know there are many practical precautions they can take and simple strategies they can employ to lessen the dangers associated with natural hazards, including hurricanes. This new, easy to use app will empower individuals and their families to take action to save lives and protect property.”
The Red Cross National Societies in the Caribbean are also developing First Aid apps with similar tips, useful information and advice, which will be coming soon.
The Multi-Hazard App named “Hazards” is available for download at Google Play, 3 Sided Cube and iTunes App Stores in each participating country.