Great apps and a huge selection of great apps are a big part of what makes the iPad such an amazing device. There are excellent apps for just about any purpose you can think of – from serious productivity to pure entertainment. Better still, there are lots of great free apps for the iPad. Our Best Free iPad App of the Week posts highlight these apps.
This week’s pick is Tornado by American Red Cross. This is, of course, an app focused on helping to prepare for a tornado. Here’s a slice of its App Store description:
Get your family and home ready for a tornado. The American Red Cross tornado app is the complete solution you need to understand and prepare for a tornado and all that comes with it. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready!
The app may not be for everyone, but for those of us who live in areas where tornados are a scary threat each year it’s a very useful resource to have around, and it’s got a wealth of good advice and information. Needless to say, with all the tragic tornados we’ve seen recently in the US you can never have too many good resources for staying safe when severe weather hits.
The app has these main sections: Prepare, Test, Tornados, and Shelters. The Prepare section is the real meat of the app – with sub-sections covering how to get help, what to do right before and during a tornado, what to do afterwards, recovery and preparing a home for severe storms, and planning ahead. These sub-sections have good, detailed lists that offer concise and clear steps to take to increase the chances of you, your family staying safe.
The Test section offers a series of short quizzes to gauge your general knowledge about tornados and about preparing for them.
A Toolkit item at the top left of the app’s main screen includes a flashlight feature (using the iPad as the flashlight), a loud alarm sound, a test siren (which is extremely loud), and an “I’m Safe” message template to send to family and friends after you’ve been involved in a tornado or a near-miss type situation.
This is the app’s full listing of notable features:
• Audible siren when NOAA issues a Tornado warning for any of your monitored locations letting you know when it’s time to go to your safe room plus an all-clear alert when the warning expires (Note: Alerts’ sounds will NOT override if phone is on vibrate or in sleep mode)
• Simple step-by-step instructions to help you know what-to-do even if the cell towers and TVs are down. Prioritized actions for before, during, and after requires no mobile connectivity
• Help distant friends and family in tornado alley with ability to receive tornado watch and warning alerts based on their location from NOAA
• Red Cross location-based open shelters map for when you need it most
• Be ready should a tornado hit by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation
• Reduce your household’s stress and anxiety should a tornado hit by learning to make and practice an emergency plan
• Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your tornado knowledge
• Know how many tornadoes have occurred in your area
• Know the difference between a watch and a warning
• Learn how to deal with food and water impacted by floods and power outages
• Simply let friends/family know you’re safe with customizable “I’m Safe” notification sharable thru social media, text and email
• Let others know where you are with the Toolkit’s strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions
Here’s an App Store link for Tornado by American Red Cross; it’s a universal app that’s designed to run on both iPad and iPhone.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week. We’ve also recently put together a best of the best of our selections from the last year in a Top 25 Best Free iPad Apps list.