Mar 17, 2014 7:54 PM by Greg Dingrando

Red Cross unveils new flood app

COLORADO SPRINGS - Flood season is right around the corner and despite the recent damage we've seen in our area, a lot of people still aren't prepared.

According to the Red Cross, 85% of people aren't ready for a disaster.

When you hear the word "flooding" most people think of a river overflowing its banks or a levy break, but in Colorado Springs that's not the case.

"It's one minute of rains and the next minute you have a wall of water coming down. Then everybody has to activate their plan and get out of the way and get up to higher elevations," said Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Hughlett.

The reason it's so bad is because the recent fires burned everything that normally slows the water down, and despite the city's massive mitigation projects the risk is still high.

Hughlett said you need to collect all the essentials like food, water, clothing, and a list of phone numbers, but he said don't just have it; have it ready.

"Its called a go bag. You grab it and you run out your door. We don't want you to think about what to pack," said Hughlett.

The go bag idea has been around for a long time, but thanks to new technology there's a lot more options to help you get prepared.

The Red Cross just launched a new flooding app that helps people be ready before, during, and after the storm.

Bill Fortune with the Red Cross said one of the most important functions of the app is a pre-set emergency message to your family. All you have to do is push a button.

"A lot of times, especially when large scale disasters have already inundated communications, that split second message will get through where as a longer message or phone call won't," said Fortune.

Then when the storm actually happens, the app has you covered no matter where you are.

"This is the audible alarm. You can use it to signal rescuers to where you are, but its also the noise you'll hear when a warning is given for the location that you're at," said Fortune.

If the flood waters do reach your home the app can help you with the recovery process too, but the Red Cross said don't wait. The time to act is now.

The Red Cross app is free for iPhones, iPad, Androids and tablets.



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