Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Canadian Red Cross Be Ready App?

    The official Canadian Red Cross Be Ready app gives users instant access to the information needed in order to prepare for different emergency situations and to take action when a disaster strikes.

    This app has been developed through the Universal App Program of the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), which is an IFRC reference center based in Washington DC, who also supported the development of the Canadian Red Cross’ mobile First Aid app. The app is available in both English and French.

  2. How does it work?

    The app features 6 unique sections as follows:

    • Prepare – The Prepare section is categorized by 11 disasters. These disasters include earthquakes, floods, forest fires, heat waves and extreme heat, house fires, hurricanes, power outages, thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms and extreme cold, and flu season. The user can click on any disaster to learn more. Under each disaster, there is an option to “take action” and “be ready”. This includes information on what to do before, during and after each disaster, and how to be aware of risks, make a plan and get a kit.
    • Toolkit – This section provides users with a shortcut to some features that will help them during a disaster. This includes a flashlight, a strobe light, and alarm, as well as the “I’m Safe” feature. “I’m Safe” allows users to send their friends and family messages indicating that they are safe. It can also transmit the user’s current location so that they know where they are.
    • Alerts – Through our partnership with The Weather Network, live weather feeds fuel the app’s alert system and the ability to monitor and track weather developments, allowing users to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
    • Tests – The Test section allows users to test their knowledge around different disasters, based on content included throughout the app. Users can earn “badges” for each disaster, once they successfully complete the tests.  
    • Map – The Map section allows users to see different weather maps by selecting from a variety of choices (cloud cover, rain, radar). The map also shows users where their family & friends are (providing that they have sent an “I’m Safe” message through the app).  
    • Info – The Info section provides additional information for the user including links to online content such as information about the Canadian Red Cross, how to buy an emergency preparedness kit, how to donate, how to volunteer, and how to share your personal story. Users can also rate the app and provide feedback through this section.  
  3. Will we be able to add content?

    Yes, most definitely. We will look to add content to the app as appropriate through scheduled app updates. If you have a suggestion for what could be added, please send it to dm@redcross.ca.

  4. Is the app available in English and French?

    Yes - to switch the language within the app, tap on the settings icon in the top left-hand of the “Prepare” screen.

  5. Does the app link to the e-store?

    Yes – if you click on the “Info” tab, you can click on “Get a Kit” that will direct you to the e-store.

  6. Where do the weather warnings come from?

    Through our partnership with the Weather Network, live weather feeds fuel the app’s alert system and the ability to monitor and track weather developments, allowing users to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

  7. Does it cost anything to download?

    No – the app is entirely free. It can be found for iPhone or iPad in the Apple app store and for Android in the Google Play store by searching “Red Cross Be Ready”.

    Yes – the Canadian Red Cross has a First Aid app available for download, which helps put lifesaving knowledge in the hands of smartphone users, anywhere, at anytime.

    Users can sharpen their first aid skills through online tutorials, or search specific lifesaving information when it is needed immediately. Videos, pictures, text and Q+A’s help users learn what to do in emergency scenarios such as when someone is bleeding, burnt, choking or even having a heart attack.

    Similar to the Be Ready app, users can also test their knowledge on specific emergency situations.

    The app is free to download and is available in English and French for the iPhone, iPad or Android devices. Users can find it by searching “First Aid by the Canadian Red Cross” in the Apple app store or the Google Play store.
  8. Does it use my phone’s data?

    No – there’s no data use at all when using the app, which is why it’s such a         useful tool for disaster situations, when communication lines can be down. This means it can be used even when you have no reception to provide instant access to disaster preparedness information. Remember, disasters can happen anywhere, at anytime, meaning having instant access to this information with the simple use of your smartphone is so important and convenient.

  9. If I have this information readily available on my smartphone, why should I have to take any additional steps to prepare for a disaster or emergency?

    Polling conducted on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross in 2012 found that two thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) have not taken steps to prepare in the event of a disaster or emergency, like a power outage.
     
    Disasters can happen anywhere, at anytime. While the Red Cross Be Ready app can provide instant information what to do before, during and after a number of disasters, there are many steps individuals and families must take to ensure they are prepared in advance of disasters, such as making a plan, and having an emergency preparedness kit in place.
     
    Canadians who take the proper steps to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster are likely to be more confident when the time comes that they are personally affected or their communities are impacted by a disaster.

  10. Does it work with a Blackberry?

    No – the app is available for use with the iPhone, iPad or Android devices. The app can be downloaded by searching “Red Cross Be Ready” in the Apple app store or the Google Play store.

  11. Does the Red Cross have any more apps I can download?

    Yes – the Canadian Red Cross has a First Aid app available for download, which helps put lifesaving knowledge in the hands of smartphone users, anywhere, at anytime.

    Users can sharpen their first aid skills through online tutorials, or search specific lifesaving information when it is needed immediately. Videos, pictures, text and Q+A’s help users learn what to do in emergency scenarios such as when someone is bleeding, burnt, choking or even having a heart attack.

    Similar to the Be Ready app, users can also test their knowledge on specific emergency situations.

    The app is free to download and is available in English and French for the iPhone, iPad or Android devices. Users can find it by searching “First Aid by the Canadian Red Cross” in the Apple app store or the Google Play store.