More Americans Using Mobile Apps in Emergencies

More Americans Using Mobile Apps in Emergencies

Red Cross poll shows social media and apps motivate people to prepare.

Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile devices during emergencies to provide information, useful tools and a way to let loved ones know they are safe, according to a new survey conducted by the American Red Cross. Mobile apps now tie social media as the fourth-most popular way to get information in an emergency, following TV, radio and online news.

Other key findings include:

Emergency social users are also most likely to seek and share information during emergencies. While they look for the hard facts—road closures, damage reports and weather conditions—they share personal information about their safety statuses and how they are feeling.

Three out of four Americans (76 percent) expect help in less than three hours of posting a request on social media, up from 68 percent last year.

Forty percent of those surveyed said they would use social tools to tell others they are safe, up from 24 percent last year.

The Red Cross continues to encourage people to call 9-1-1 as the best first action when in need of emergency assistance.

The Red Cross introduced apps for shelter locations, first aid tips and instruction and hurricane preparedness, the last of which also includes a flashlight feature as well as one-touch, “I’m safe” messaging that connects directly to the users’ social media channels. Red Cross plans to unveil several other preparedness apps throughout the fall. For links to these and other apps, go to redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps

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