PORTLAND, Ore. - The American Red Cross on Thursday launched the Team Red Cross Mobile 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.
"When people see an emergency happening in their community, they often want to help but may not know how," said Maree Wacker, regional executive for the American Red Cross Cascades Region, which serves Oregon and Southwest Washington. "The Team Red Cross App provides an easy and quick way for people to sign up to help the Red Cross and support their community."
Users download the app and create an account which enables them to learn about different volunteer opportunities 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.
The Red Cross is encouraging the public to download the app before a disaster strikes in Oregon or Southwest Washington so volunteers can help immediately.
The app is free and designed for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets. Additional features include:
A volunteer orientation right on the mobile device
Ability for people to share notifications for volunteers with their social network
Earn digital "badges" by completing a job test, accepting a job, sharing the app, recruiting volunteers, etc. The "badges" can then be shared with their social network.
Ability to donate to the Red Cross online and sign up to donate blood.
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 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 be prepared for disasters.
The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.