The Red Cross is keeping up with the times. It has released six new mobile apps over the last year, offering tips on subjects from how to keep safe to first aid techniques.
Today marks the release of a seventh app that combines social media and technology to get volunteers ready to go if disaster strikes.
The Red Cross receives thousands of phone calls from generous people who want to help whenever a natural disaster occurs and it's hard to keep up with everyone. The new Team Red Cross app was designed to do just that.
It's in our nature to want lend a helping hand to people who need it.
From the tornado that ravaged the small town of Mapleton, Iowa to the flood of 2011, volunteers for the Red Cross stepped up to help.
"It was a different type of event in that we needed folks immediately, a lot of hands-on labor to do things like fill sandbags and that kind of thing for a short period of time," says Tammy Lee, with the Siouxland Red Cross.
The new Team Red Cross App keeps a database of volunteers on call so if the Missouri River were to flood again, the Red Cross would immediately have a team of volunteers ready to go.
"We might say that we need people to help with book distribution of items, so that could be blankets, shovels, clean up kits, hygiene supplies, water - that kind of thing. It would tell them how long of a shift it is, what they need to be able to do to fulfill that requirement and then they could actually sign up right there and commit," she says.
The Red Cross app alerts you when new missions are available. Right now, the mission to donate blood is on the app and if you click "Accept Mission" it gives you the option to search for places in your area where you can donate.
"We've got a great social media following and I think for those people that are connected and like to use their phones and like the apps this is going to be a great way for them to tell us ahead of time that they're going to be there for us," says Tammy.
But Tammy says if you're not social media savvy or prefer the good ol' telephone the Red Cross line is always open for people interested in volunteering.
'We are still seeking volunteers who want to come in and do the full-fledged training and be available to us on a year around basis and respond to house fires and be available to travel nationally and those kinds of things. So, this doesn't in any way replace our traditional red cross volunteer base," says Tammy.
If you interesting in downloading the app and looking to help the Siouxland Red Cross out visit their website: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/volunteer-app