On average, there are 89 fatalities and more than $8.3 billion dollars in damage each year as a result of flooding. Floods and flash floods are the most common, and costliest, weather related disaster in the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the organization that monitors and manages weather and ocean related data, predicts that minor flooding will occur this spring in Northeast Ohio. That prediction does not take in to consideration the potential for flash flooding, a type of flooding that occurs when water rises in a short amount of time, quickly with little or no warning.
In an effort to get the word out about the deadly nature of flooding, NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) observe Flood Safety Awareness week from March 16 through 22.
To celebrate, the American Red Cross released a free, Flood app. The app helps users gain more information about how to prepare for and respond to a flood in their area. It features interactive quizzes and awards users with badges that can be shared on social networks.
Want to build an emergency kit in preparation? The app can help with that!
Most importantly, the app can be used during a flood. It provides an audible and location specific alert when a Flood Warning or Watch is in effect, plus a toolbox of helpful features such as turning a smart phone’s camera flash into a flashlight and helping the user post the message “I’m safe” on social networks. It will also map out area Red Cross shelters.
The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store or visit redcross.org/apps