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Smartphone App Prepares Virginians For The Worst

The four-state area has had some severe weather lately with flooding and tornadoes, but Virginia is going the extra mile in alerting residents.

VIRGINIA - Virginia's Department of Emergency Services mobile application is so unique, even President Obama loves it, calling the app innovative at his Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting.

Natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes can be extremely disorienting, but for Virginians all they have to do for information is head to their smart phones and download the Ready Virginia mobile application.

"It’s available on your iPhone or Android device,” said Brian Moran, the Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia. “It's primarily for hurricane preparedness, but it can be used for other [natural disasters]."

Virginia used the app, which currently has 17,000 users, to communicate information about the recent earthquake in Southern Virginia.

"It allows you to prepare, so that you know [what to do] for a hurricane or other disaster. It also provides [up-to-the-minute] alerts,” said Moran.

While some states have a similar app, it's these unique push notifications that set Ready Virginia apart.

"We presented it to the President just a couple of weeks ago during his Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting. We were the only one with this particular mobile device, and they were particularly impressed with that," Moran said.

Users can also streamline up-to-the-minute disaster information from multiple government agencies.

"I think [our app is] somewhat unique, but I would hope other states would copy it,” said Moran. “We need to go where people are, and they're accessing that information through their mobile devices. That's where we need to provide information."

Other features include checklists for emergency supplies, and you can build your own emergency plan and share it with friends.

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