New app provides weather alerts, preparedness info at same time - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New app provides weather alerts, preparedness info at same time

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New Orleans, La. -- There's an app for everything these days, weather included.  And at the 2013 National Hurricane Conference, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) introduced an app with some lagniappe. FOX 8 took a look at how you can use Mitigation 2.0 to get ready for hurricane season, before the storm alerts begin.

We know hurricanes all too well, and getting ready is always a challenge mentally, financially, and physically.  But FLASH hopes they can make the challenge a little less daunting.

"We've never met a family that went through a storm that didn't wish they went back and did a little bit more," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and CEO of FLASH, a non-profit organization tasked with helping families protect themselves and their property from disasters.  "We're all so busy and we just need to make this getting ready thing a part of everyday life."

For many, smartphones have become a facet of everyday life.  Chapman-Henderson explained, "The app goes with people. This is how we get our information now so we're putting mitigation and safety in the palm of their hands."

After digesting the information from yearly surveys the organization does to gauge public preparedness, FLASH noted even those who experienced storm damage are only slightly more likely to take steps to get ready for the next potential disaster.

Chapman-Henderson said, "What we found is there is a small up tick in their intentions. Unfortunately some of them are saying it's just too much for me."

Retired National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said, "Let's assume most people are like me and they procrastinate. It also has a whole list of these mitigation things that I can say, 'Oh, I got to look at this and see what I can to do.'"

Step-by-step instructions on boarding up, home safety checklists and instructional videos can all be pulled up with a touch of the screen, in both English and Spanish.

Read said, "I go home after this meeting with all these new ideas fresh in my mind and I review the list I had from last year and start getting things ready so that by June first, I don't have to do anything but hope we don't have a storm."

Chapman-Henderson said, "People that are ready feel better whether they get hit or not and we all want that comfort. We don't want to be in the store, panic ensues in a last-ditch effort to buy the wrong kind of thing and the water's gone. No fun and it's just something we don't have to do."

So start preparing early. Mitigation 2.0 does provide current conditions as well as programmable speech to text severe weather alerts.

The app is not free; both Android and Apple versions cost about $9.99.  But until Friday, March 27, 2013 you can download it from for $4.99 as a special introduction rate.

While you're downloading apps, make sure to add our free Fox 8 Weather app. It includes severe weather alerts, daily forecasts and hurricane tracking, and it's available for Android and Apple devices.

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