FEMA adds safety reminders to smartphone app

smartphone app

Photo: FEMA

Washington – A new smartphone app feature from FEMA sends reminders about how people can prepare their homes and loved ones for possible disasters.

The latest version of FEMA’s app is available for free for Android or Apple devices. If users already have FEMA’s app, they should download it again to access the newer features.

The app’s new reminders cover topics such as testing smoke alarms, replacing smoke alarm batteries, practicing a fire escape plan with other residents of the household and updating emergency kits. The app already included features such as severe weather alerts, safety tips for more than 20 types of hazards, and driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers.

“Our lives are increasingly busy and on-the-go,” FEMA Deputy Administrator of Protection and National Preparedness Tim Manning said in a press release. “Today, we turn to mobile devices and technology to help us stay more organized and connected. This new feature to FEMA’s app will make it easier for families to remember to take potentially lifesaving actions that we all should be thinking about more often.”

Emergency first responders say FEMA’s smartphone reminders could save lives.

“In just two minutes, a home fire can become life-threatening,” U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell Jr. said in the release. “Remembering to take small steps to prepare, such as ensuring your smoke alarm is properly maintained and practicing your home fire escape plan, will reduce fire fatalities and ensure our communities are safer. We hope this new feature to FEMA’s app will help save lives by encouraging more families to be prepared.”

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