American Red Cross releases free earthquake app


The so-called "Big One" is predicted to be much more devastating. But now, Southern Californians have an earthquake safety tool that was inconceivable 18 years ago: smartphone and tablet apps.

Paul Schultz, CEO of the American Red Cross Los Angeles, says apps and social media are becoming more important in emergencies every day. That's why the Red Cross has launched a free earthquake app that prepares you for during and after a temblor.

"To me, it's an empowering device for when bad things happen, and they will in Southern California - you're ahead of the curve," he said about the app called "Earthquake - American Red Cross."

If you set the app to monitor Los Angeles, it will alert you to any earthquake magnitude 3.0 or larger within a 150-mile radius using real-time data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

"(It's) the most up to date and the most reliable as well because there are a lot of rumors that get started," Schultz said.

After the shaking, by clicking an icon you can alert all your social networks at once that you are either OK or need help. Clicking shelters shows you real-time data of where you can go at that moment for help.

The app also brushes up your earthquake knowledge, such as the importance of the Drop, Cover and Hold On method, and it even quizzes you. The Red Cross previously released a first aid app and hurricane app with great success.

"Viewers are hungry for correct, accurate information and they trust the Red Cross as a source of accurate information," Schultz said. "We've bundled it in a very easy-to-use package and we've provided it for free, so there's really no reason not to download this app."

The earthquake app by the American Red Cross can be found on iTunes and Google Play. More apps can be found on the American Red Cross Prepare SoCal website.

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