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New MUST-HAVE earthquake app from the Red Cross

This morning the American Red Cross released a brand new app designed to help guide you before, during, and after an earthquake. This app is a must-have if you live in earthquake country, which we’ve recently been reminded means pretty much all of us. It’s a great thing to have if you live out west, where we’re plagued by earthquakes that will undoubtedly recur in our lifetimes, but the simple checklists and guidelines contained in the app are invaluable to people living in less quake-savvy regions, where earthquakes are a remote, distant risk not often considered.

It’s free, and it’s chock full of both information and practical tools. It basically turns your mobile device into an all-in-one post-quake tool, info center, and instruction guide. I think you’ll want to have it.

The app includes step by step instructions–and checklists! to keep you on task–for before, during, and after an earthquake.

It includes a toolkit with shortcuts to the phone’s flashlight, strobe, and alarm so that you can find your way around or others can find their way to you after a quake.

There’s a special page that helps you easily set up and share your emergency plan. This is key. This is a step that everyone is repeatedly told to take, but so few take it seriously. With this app–in like three clicks of the buttons–you have an emergency plan that you can share with your whole family. Brilliant. Do it.

Map functions are also included, showing you the locations and shaking intensities of earthquakes close to your location, as well as maps showing nearby Red Cross shelters that have been set up.

Of course the program wouldn’t be complete without links to a companion Red Cross First Aid app with emergency tips and instructions, as well as a quick link to donate money to their disaster recovery funds.

This app brilliantly exploits the many functions of a smartphone, taking full and clever advantage of its role in disseminating crucial information straight to our pockets.

Get it!

I would also highly recommend the Red Cross’s companion apps, First Aid and Hurricanes.

Earthquake Alert App for Mexico City residents

Después de dos temblores grandes sentido en la Ciudad de México, el gobierno ha publicado una “app” que les alerta a los residentes del Distrito Federal cuando están grabado los señales sísmicas de un temblor grande. Porque muchos de los temblores sentido en el Distrito Federal se originan en la costa, hay mucho tiempo (algunos 30-60 segundos) para protegerse en la ciudad antes de tiembla. La aplicación está disponible solo para usuarios de los teléfonos BlackBerry, pero es gratis. Hay más información y la app está disponible del gobierno aqui:

Okay so I tried. Parece que muchas personas ven este sitio desde México a causa de estas noticias, así traté de usar mi español rudimentario para anunciarlas.

For those of you north of the border,

After two big earthquakes that shook Mexico City–a M7.4 on April 20 and a M6.0 on April 2–the Mexican government has released a very timely app that alerts residents of the capitol city to impending shaking. It’s based on the same system that provided warning to the congresspeople in the 20 April quake. The app is available only for BlackBerries right now, but the developers are open to other platforms provided the necessary speed for dissemination. The app can be downloaded for free from the Mexican government at the link above.

Here are detailed new releases:

This comes closely on the heels of a similar release in New Zealand that alerts residents to the magnitude and location of a quake immediately after it happens, but both countries lag well behind Japan, where the widespread adoption of mobile early-warning technology predated the Tohoku earthquake.

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