ST. CLOUD -- It's hard not to panic during an emergency situation, but the American Red Cross has found a way to put our minds at ease when faced with an emergency.

Yesterday (Thursday) the organization launched its new Emergency App which gives you instant access to weather alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends.

Carrie Carlson-Guest is the Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross Minnesota Region. She says the app combines all their other applications into one complete app.

"So we have launched our tornado app and wild fire app but this takes all of those and puts it into one. It's easy to use and covers 14 different disasters and there are 35 customized alerts," says Carlson-Guest.

The app has many features that includes emergency first aid information, access to guidance from Red Cross experts, maps with open Red Cross shelters and a "Family Safe" feature.

"So I've added my sister in California on alert with this app so if there is an earthquake there I'll get an alert and I can check on her and see if she is safe and she can reply to me so you know if everyone is safe during a disaster," says Carlson-Guest.

Carlson-Guest says the family or friends you add on alert do not need to have the app in order to respond.

The app is free and available in app stores for smartphones and tablets and will also be available on the new Apple Watch beginning April 24th.

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