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Metro Creative

American Red Cross offers a free emergency app by going to redcross.org/apps.

With severe storms now part of the spring landscape, the American Red Cross encourages people to prepare themselves and their families in the event of severe storms and tornadoes.

Individuals can download the free Red Cross emergency app to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of thunderstorms, flooding and other disasters as well as locations of shelters.

The app also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature, which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are OK.

The free emergency app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

For other tips, families should identify a safe place in the home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If the mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it the safe place.

Remember the differences. A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. A tornado warning means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon and families should seek their safe place right away.