FLASH Unveils New Smartphone APP



FLASH Unveils New Mitigation and Preparedness Smartphone App at 2013 National Hurricane Conference

App provides peril-based mitigation and preparedness tools and weather forecasting functions with the added value of NOAA weather radio technology.

As the National Hurricane Conference kicks off in New Orleans today; FLASH released “FLASH Weather Alerts” the first-ever precision, severe weather alert smartphone app that includes home mitigation and family preparedness information, videos and consumer support in English and Spanish.  The app combines bilingual preparedness and mitigation content with the powerful performance of a GPS, precision text – to – speech severe weather warnings.  Users can choose only one, or up to 100 alert options from flood, hurricane and tornado to wildfire and more.

Weather Features of FLASH Weather Alerts:

  • Local weather forecasts for seven days including hourly updates with temperature, precipitation and humidity
  • Severe weather alerts for up to six saved locations in the United States
  • Location-based alerting using smartphone GPS and local cellular towers to pinpoint locations making alerts more precise, reducing false alerts
  • Built in radar maps with animation, watch/warning boxes and hurricane cone of probability provide additional information for alerted users
  • Exclusive live video streaming from the National Hurricane Center and local television affiliates (where available) providing connectivity if cable, satellite or local TV is unavailable.
  • Devices automatically wake up when alerts are issued and text to speech feature speaks the alert to the user (preserves safety while driving)
  • Customizable alerts with more than 100 severe weather hazards including:
    • Floods and flash flood
    • Hurricane watches and warnings
    • Lightning (coming soon)
    • Marine advisories
    • Severe thunderstorm
    • Tornado
    • Wildfires
    • Winter weather alerts and more

Mitigation and Preparedness Features of FLASH Weather Alerts:

  • Mitigation resources put information to make homes stronger and families safer in the palm of the user’s hand – in English and Spanish
  • Follow disaster safety discussions on FLASH Facebook and Twitter
  • “Current News” feed provides event-driven preparedness/mitigation tips as severe events unfold
  • Season-specific mitigation/preparedness information reaches users when they need it most

All app features are included in the one-time price of $7.99 and will not require any additional in app purchases.  FLASH Weather Alerts is now available from the Apple AppStore and Google Play store for a reduced cost of $4.99 through Friday, March 29, 2013.

For more information visit  www.flashweatheralerts.org.

Hurricane Irene Power Outage Tips

As power outages continue to have wide-ranging impacts on hundreds of thousands of people in areas affected by Hurricane Irene, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. (FLASH®) offers consumers these important safety tips:

  •  Keep extra cash on hand since an extended power outage may prevent you from withdrawing money from an automatic teller machines or banks.
  • Turn off any electrical equipment that was in use prior to the power outage.
  • Turn off all lights but one (to alert you when power resumes).
  • Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio on hand.  Do not use candles as they pose a fire hazard.
  • Resist the temptation to call 9-1-1 for information.  That’s what your battery-powered radio is for.
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, medicine, baby supplies and pet food as appropriate on hand.  Allow one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer. Food should be safe as long as the outage lasts no more than 4-6 hours.
  • Items in a full freezer will stay frozen for about two days with the door kept closed; in a half-full freezer for about one day.
  • Have one or more coolers for cold food storage in case power outage is prolonged.
  • It’s important to be aware that food that has not been refrigerated can cause severe health problems. Remember:
  • Discard perishable foods that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours.
  • Discard any food with an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Best rule to follow:  “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • Have an emergency power supply for anyone dependent on medical equipment requiring electricity.
  • Connect only individual appliances to portable generators.
  • Never plug an emergency generator into wall outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system.  They can feed electricity back into the power lines putting you and line workers in danger.
  • Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated outdoor areas.
  • When driving, be careful at intersections.  Traffic lights may be out creating a dangerous situation.
  • Check on elderly neighbors, friends or relatives who may need assistance if weather is severe during the outage.
  • Keep your car fuel tank at least half-full (gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps).
  • When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.