(credit: redcross.org)

(credit: redcross.org)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As North Texans prepare for storm season, the American Red Cross today launched its official Tornado App for iPhones, Androids and tablets.

The free app, available in English or Spanish, offers access to local and real-time weather information. The app alerts users when a tornado is headed their way.

“You can actually set alerts in the app to make sure that an audible alarm goes off when a Tornado Warning is issued for your area,” Red Cross spokeswoman Laura Howe explained.

The choice to have a loud signal with the app was made strategically. According to T. D. Smyers, regional CEO of the American Red Cross North Texas Region, since tornadoes often happen overnight the audible alerts can help save lives.

The high-pitched siren warning is sent even if the app is closed. Once severe weather has cleared, the app sends an all-clear alert to let users know a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. The app also lets the user hit a button to send a massage to friends and family letting them know they are safe.

“It is just packed with great information about what to do before, during, and after a tornado,” Howe said. “So the Red Cross is introducing that app this week and we’re really excited to bring this life saving information to people.”

The tornado app also has enhanced weather maps, steps and checklists to create an emergency plan, and a tool kit with a flashlight and strobe light.

The Tornado App is available on the Red Cross website or search ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the Red Cross can do so online at their website, by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

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