CHARLESTON, W.Va. — From February’s train derailment to Winter Storm Thor in March to the floods of April, the American Red Cross supported community members across West Virginia. Now, there’s an app for that.

The Red Cross this week introduced its new emergency app, which alerts individuals of any disasters in the area.

“The idea is that the Red Cross is always wanting to make sure that not only are we responding to disasters, but that we’re preparing our citizens for being safe in the event of any emergency,” said Erica Mani, chief executive of the Red Cross West Virginia region.

The app allows for customized weather alerts, safety tips, and other information for 14 types of emergencies.

One feature allows users to plug in the zip code of a friend or family member to monitor impending weather or disasters. “It allows that loved one to then respond back with a message of either ‘I’m safe’ or I’m not safe,'” Mani said.

The Red Cross hopes the app could be a lifesaving tool because it provides information about finding shelter during a disaster.

“It’s an all-in-one free and easy-to-use app,” said Mani.

The “Emergency by American Red Cross” app is available in app stores for smartphones and tablets by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

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