The American Red Cross has launched the Team Red Cross App, which allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in their community, according to a news release from the organization.
"When people see an emergency, they often want to help but may not know how," said Tony Credeur, community chapters executive. "The Team Red Cross App is a quick and easy way for people to sign up to help the Red Cross and their neighbors."
Officials said once users download the app, they create an account. Then they learn about different jobs, such as working in a warehouse, handing out supplies or assisting with feeding.
When the Red Cross has a need for volunteers, the Team Red Cross App will notify users based on their location. Potential volunteers can instantly accept or decline the volunteer opportunity, officials said.
The Red Cross is encouraging the public to download the app before a disaster strikes in south Louisiana so volunteers can help immediately.
The app is free and designed for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets. Additional features include:
A quick orientation right on the mobile device.
Ability for people to share notifications for volunteers with their social network.
Digital "badges" that can be earned by completing a job test, accepting a job, sharing the app, recruiting volunteers, etc. The "badges" can then be shared with their social network.
The opportunity to donate money to the Red Cross.
Emergency response information that people can share with their friends at the touch of a button.
The Team Red Cross App is the seventh in a series of highly successful Red Cross apps, which are now on more than 3 million mobile devices across the country. A recent Red Cross survey shows that apps are now tied with social media as the fourth most popular way to get information during emergencies – behind TV, radio and online news sites. Nearly one-fifth of Americans say they've received some kind of emergency information from an app they've downloaded, making the Red Cross apps an important way for the public to get ready for disasters.