Wondering how to deal with your neighbor's heatstroke or a threatening hurricane?
Technology to the rescue.
The American Red Cross’s first aid app has information on preparation for emergency situations as well videos and tips on how to handle everything from a hypothermia to a heart attack to heat stroke - it even links to “call 911” in the event that you’re too distracted to get to your phone’s dialer.
“What it does is give you any kind of information you’d want on how to take care of yourself in an emergency,” Red Cross Communications Director Cheryl Kravitz earlier this summer.
The app also has a “preparation” tab, with tips on how to prepare for chemical emergencies, flu pandemics hurricanes and even everyday emergencies (know where the nearest hospital is, keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy).
And in case of a heatwave?
- Stay continuously hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty
- Avoid alcohol
- Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals
- Use sunscreen SPF30 or higher
- Have plenty of bottled water on hand
There is also a checklist that let’s you check off the preparations you’ve already made.
The first aid app is one of several emergency-oriented apps offered by the Red Cross.
Kravitz downloaded the tornado app earlier this summer when heavy storms swept through the area.
"Even though there wasn’t a tornado, it let me know the storms were approaching, what to do … in chase there had been a tornado, an alarm goes off. And if your lights go out, it acts like a flashlight," Kravitz said.
So what can’t this app do?
It cannot charge your phone for you, and if your phone dies, what good is the app anyway? Kravitz suggests everyone has a back-up battery pack or a hand-crank/solar radio, like this one offered by Red Cross, which can also charge electronics.