New TEMA app warns users of emergencies

New TEMA app warns users of emergencies (Image 1)

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency rolled out a mobile application on Monday to give emergency information to residents.

The app, Ready-TN is only available for Android users, but an iPhone version is expected to be  available soon in the near future.

By using a phone's GPS location service, Ready-TN can relay information about weather emergencies and warnings, open storm shelters and traffic hazards.

“Probably everybody under 50 has one of these iPhones or a Thunderbolt or Droid, we're just trying to go where the public is with our messages,” said TEMA director Jim Bassham

When the National Weather Service issues a weather alert, a bar on the apps' main page turns yellow. A touch of the screen shows that weather statement, not just for the user's area, but every statement in Tennessee.

Other features show open shelters with an address, its capacity and how many people are there.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Smartway Cameras are also listed.

The app shows the camera closest to the user's location. It also shows all road closures, construction zones and hazards.

Contact information is also available for every county and includes names and phone numbers of mayors, police chiefs, fire chiefs and emergency officials.

TEMA told Nashville's News 2 the app is not intended to replace any severe weather warning system or calls to 911 centers. It does not provide push notifications which would send alerts, without clicking anything on the phone.

The Ready-TN app was developed in-house by a TEMA staff member. It's available in the Android Marketplace. The app is free.

Monday's news conference also included information from the National Weather Service reminding residents that next week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

There is a statewide tornado drill planned for Wednesday, February 22.

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