FLASH Partnership Introduces Updated Weather App

“FLASH Weather Alerts” Version 3.0 offers speed, precision, forecasting, preparedness tools, and NOAA weather radio functionality.

In partnership with Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. (WDT), the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), today released the updated FLASH Weather Alerts app V3.0 on the iTunes and Google Play stores. This mobile app delivers precise GPS, precision text-to-speech severe weather alerts, useful “How-To” videos, and bilingual home safety, mitigation, and disaster preparedness information.

“We are proud to partner with WDT, the country’s premier weather data provider, to reintroduce this powerful, easy-to-use app combining technology with real-time severe weather information,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “Often, our smartphones and tablets serve as lifelines in a disaster, so we are offering this app and the speed it delivers to maximize the short window of time available to make life or death decisions in a disaster. The added everyday benefits of reliable weather forecasts make it a must-have.”

The FLASH Weather Alerts app enables the user to receive critical alerts via voice and push notifications. Your phone will “wake up” with alerts and also track your location to warn you wherever you go. Listen to local weather forecasts while on the move. Enjoy the power of a NOAA Weather Radio, with all the convenience and precision of a smartphone.

Features of FLASH Weather Alerts include:

  • ACCURATE ALERTS- Provides the most precise alerts compared to other similar apps on the market
  • COMPLETE CONTROL- Choose only the type of alerts you want to receive
  • FOLLOW ME- Alerts you when a watch/warning is issued in your area
  • MULTIPLE LOCATIONS- Ensure friends & family are safe by saving up to 5 additional locations
  • AUDIO- Hear beeps followed by a brief description of the alert type
  • RADAR- Quickly reference your location to adverse weather using radar with watch and warning overlays
  • QUICK FORECAST- Access current and forecast weather information for remote locations
  • VOICE OVER- Works for the visually impaired
  • MITIGATION RESOURCES- Includes information to make homes stronger and families (available in English and Spanish)
  • CURRENT NEWS- provides event-driven preparedness/mitigation tips as severe events unfold

All app features are included for $4.99 with no additional in-app purchases. If you previously purchased FLASH Weather Alerts, you may download the update for free. For more information, visit flashweatheralerts.org.

Holiday Winter Preparedness Gift Ideas from FLASH

Freezing temperatures and snow arrived earlier than normal this year making it even more important to take steps to prepare for winter conditions during the remainder of the season.

What better way to help your family and friends prepare than giving a gift that keeps them safe, warm, and protected inside their home?

This week, when you begin, or maybe as you finish holiday shopping, consider adding safety gadgets to your shopping list. The list below will get you started if you want to choose gifts for family and friends that will help prepare for weather of all kinds.

Safety and Comfort

  • AM/FM radio with extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Car power inverters
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • External cell phone battery pack
  • Fire extinguisher and fire escape ladder
  • First-aid kits
  • FLASH Weather Alerts app
  • Hand-crank powered appliances such as cell phone chargers, power supplies, radios and weather radio
  • LED flashlights with extra batteries
  • Power generators
    • Portable gasoline-powered generators
    • Permanent LP or natural gas home generators
  • Solar-powered backpack to charge laptops, tablets, and other portable devices
  • Windshield scraper

Home Mitigation

  • Attic insulation
  • Gift certificates for professional home inspections
  • Insulated doors
  • Insulation for hose bibs, exposed plumbing, pool equipment
  • Replacement windows
  • Storm doors
  • Weather stripping

Click here for a complete list of tips on how to stay safe and comfortable during power outages. For more tips and resources on winter safety, visit The Great Winter Weather Party campaign, and for comprehensive information on weather of all kinds, visit FLASH.

10 Tornado Safety Tips to Keep You Safe Before, During and After a Storm

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®  offers the following tornado safety tips to help before, during, and after a tornado strikes.

Before

  • Have a family tornado plan and know where you can safely take shelter.
  • Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio
  • Install a tornado safe room or storm shelter built to FEMA 320 guidelines or the ICC/NSSA 500 standard. Always use a licensed contractor to install a safe room within, adjacent to, or outside of your home.
  • View this video playlist to find out Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You.

During

  • Take refuge in a tested and approved storm shelter, safe room, or a community shelter labeled as an official tornado shelter. Community shelters may include stores, malls, churches, even airports.
  • If no shelter is available:
    • Are you indoors? Go to the lowest floor, to a small, central, interior room, under a stairwell, or to an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch down as low as possible to the floor, face down, and cover your head with your arms. Cover yourself with a blanket, mattress, helmet, or other thick covering. Wear footwear with thick soles to your safe location.
    • Are you in a mobile home? Get out. Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as a sturdy building. Go to a nearby permanent structure. Do not seek shelter under an overpass, bridge, or in a drainage ditch. If you cannot safely exit your vehicle, park it out of traffic lanes. Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on. Put your head below the windows and protect it with your arms and a blanket, coat, or other cushion.
    • Are you outdoors? Shelter in a sturdy building. If no shelter is available, lie face down on low ground protecting the back of your head with your arms.

After

  • Keep your family together in a safe location and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Stay away from power lines, downed trees, and puddles that could hide live wires.
  • Watch your step to avoid sharp objects.
  • Stay out of heavily damaged structures, as they may collapse.
  • Do not use matches or lighters in case of leaking natural gas or fuel tanks.
  • Listen to your radio for information and instructions.

Black Friday Winter Preparedness Gift Ideas from FLASH

Black-Friday-Graphic

With families experiencing colder-than-normal temperatures already during the month of November and with freezing temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday, the FLASH team suggests adding a few winter safety items to your Black Friday shopping list.

There’s no better gift than one that offers your loved ones safety and protection and even has the potential to save their lives. FLASH developed a comprehensive list of winter-weather preparedness gift-giving ideas that can protect friends’ and families’ homes and ensure their safety.

Winter storms from coast to coast are redefining this year’s must-have gift list. Here are suggested gifts that provide Comfort and Security as well as Home Mitigation:

Comfort & Security

  • AM/FM radios w/extra batteries
  • Automobile power inverters
  • Blankets
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • First-aid kits
  • Hand-crank powered appliances such as cell phone chargers, power supplies, radios and weather radio
  • Cell phone battery pack or case
  • LED flash lights w/extra batteries
  • FLASH Weather Alerts app
  • Power generators
    • Portable gasoline-powered generators
    • Permanent LP or natural gas standby generators
    • Solar-powered backpack to charge laptops, tablets, music players and other portable devices

Home Mitigation

  • Attic insulation
  • Insulated doors
  • Insulated faucet domes
  • Storm doors
  • Portable generators
  • Standby generators
  • Gift certificates for professional home inspections
  • Gift certificates for professional winterization services
  • Insulation for hose bibs, exposed plumbing, pool equipment
  • Weather stripping
  • Replacement windows

For a complete list of tips on how to stay safe and comfortable during power outages, click here. For more tips and resources on winter safety visit www.greatwinterweatherparty.org. For comprehensive disaster safety and home mitigation information on weather of all kinds visit www.flash.org.

Wildfire Safety Tip

Be your home’s hero and clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris.

Wildfire Safety Tip

Additional Wildfire Safety Tips

Protect Your Home

  • Clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris
  • Make sure your street number is legible and clearly marked for emergency responders
  • Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can become ignited from windblown embers, including:
    • Dead grass, leaves, etc. (fine fuels) and dead twigs, branches, etc. (coarse fuels) within 30 feet of buildings
    • Dry leaf/pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways
    • Dead and dry litter at the base of plants
    • Tree branches (ladder fuels) within 6-10 feet of the ground
    • Firewood within 30 feet of buildings
    • Continuous beds of combustible vegetation (on the ground or in tree tops) that can bring large flames within 100 feet of your home
    • Identify an emergency water supply for firefighting within 1,000 feet of your home through one of the following:
      • Community water/hydrant system, and/or
      • Drafting site on a lake
      • Cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
      • Swimming pool

Prepare Your Family

 

For more information on wildfire prevention visit www.flash.org.  For mobile wildfire alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at www.flashweatheralerts.org.

Labor Day Weekend Travelers Can Use New Smartphone Technology to Stay Weather Safe Without Texting On the Road

FLASH Weather Alerts App provides voice warnings that allow drivers to track weather without distracting and dangerous texting

(Tallahassee, FL) – With AAA projecting 34.1 million Americans to hit the road this weekend, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® is urging them to practice safe driving and stay ahead of severe weather with FLASH Weather Alerts. The fast, customizable, GPS-precision smartphone app will follow U.S. travelers wherever they go and provide a verbal forecast as well as voice push notifications with more than 100 options — including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, rip currents, marine warnings and more. The app, available for both iPhone and Android devices, is currently included as a key disaster preparedness resource by Consumer Reports.

According to FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson, “FLASH Weather Alerts is the only smartphone app that will travel with you and provide all the weather information you need without dangerous driver distractions because it is hands-free. Alerts are spoken not sent via texts. This means that families are safer on the way to their holiday destinations as well as when they arrive.”

FLASH Weather Alerts offers much more than a traditional, $30 NOAA Weather Radio for a one-time price of $7.99 including:

  • An award-winning iMap platform that incorporates the only known, text-to-speech technology to deliver spoken weather notifications, helping users receive alerts while driving and avoid violation of “texting while driving” laws;
  • Apple Push Notification/Google Play Notification services, the fastest way to transmit alerts and deliver National Weather Service severe weather notifications;
  • Alerts based on the polygon issued by the National Weather Service combined with the GPS-precision that provides alerting down to the zip code, even when in motion;
  • Text or text-to-speech, seven day and hourly forecasts for current location plus five additional locations.

 

Contact:

Tami Fillyaw

(850) 385-7233 ext.112

tami@flash.org

8 Reasons Why You Need the FLASH Weather Alerts Smartphone App

We asked our users what they value most in the FLASH Weather Alerts app and this list is the outcome.

1. Friends and Family

Personally, I find this app to be extremely valuable if you have friends and family scattered across the globe. I can set all six locations for my mom in DC, my dad in Florida, friends in Colorado and California as well as my current location. Knowing that I will receive National Weather Service alerts before them, gives me a good reason to call and say “Hey get to a safe place because there is a tornado in your area.” Trust me, they will thank you later.

2.    Improved NOAA Weather Radio technology

The same National Weather Service alerts sent to your traditional NOAA weather radio are the same alerts sent to our app. However, the traditional NOAA radio does not allow you to set up to five different locations, calculate your GPS position, or customize alerts based on your lifestyle.

3.    Much cheaper than a NOAA Weather Radio

Google “NOAA Weather Radio” and you will find the price between $30 and $50.

Google “FLASH Weather Alerts” app and you will find a one-time price of $7.99.

4.    Customizable alerts

Having the option to toggle on/off over 100 different NWS alerts gives you piece of mind without alerting you every time the wind blows. If you love to fish, the “Marine” alerts will be prefect for a day of deep-sea fishing. If you love to golf, the “thunderstorms and tornadoes” alerts might be for you.

5.    Mobility

The traditional NOAA radio is comparable in size to the early 90s boom box. Thankfully, in 2013 we are more mobile than ever with smartphones in every pocket, on every desk and in every purse. Essentially this means miniature NOAA Weather radios will be in everywhere and we will all be informed and alert. What a relief!

6.    Text to speech

Without having to open up the FLASH app, you will receive an alert just like a notification. This notification speaks to you even at night so you do not even have to unlock or open your smartphone. My four-year-old niece screamed “MAGIC!” the first time she heard the phone wake up and speak to her. Sometimes the younger generation knows how to sum things up nicely.

7.    Location precision

The fact that traditional NOAA Weather Radio alerts you for severe weather in multiple counties surrounding you and not your specific location can be irritating. The FLASH Weather Alerts app uses your GPS location and proximity to cell towers to provide extremely location specific National Weather Service alerts.

8.    DIY mitigation projects

Despite being number eight on the list, this is what sets the FLASH Weather Alerts app apart from others. Along with the alert features in the app, there are videos that show you how to strengthen your home in preparation for natural disasters. Much like the DIY TV shows you watch, the videos break down important mitigation strategies and projects you can tackle in one hour, one day and one weekend. These projects add value to your home and ultimately keep you one-step ahead of natural disasters.

Former National Hurricane Center director Bill Read’s testimony of the app:

“I was able to put the FLASH Weather Alert app to the test last night as severe thunderstorms crossed our area. The audio alerts for the severe thunderstorm warning and flood advisory were perfect. A neat feature in the app is the screen capture and share, which I used to post this picture during the storm. 2-4″ diameter hail fell along a swath of the county roughly where the pink color was located.”

Share your app experience on the FLASH Facebook page and be entered to win a $25 Home Depot gift card that can go towards a new bird feeder or better yet, supplies to strengthen your home outlined in the DIY mitigation projects.