Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile devices during emergencies to provide information, useful tools and a way to let loved ones know they are safe, according to a new survey conducted by the American Red Cross. Mobile apps now tie social media as the fourth-most popular way to get information in an emergency, following TV, radio and online news. Emergency social users are also most likely to seek and share information during emergencies.

Three out of four Americans (76 percent) expect help in less than three hours of posting a request on social media, up from 68 percent last year. Forty percent of those surveyed said they would use social tools to tell others they are safe, up from 24 percent last year. The Red Cross continues to encourage people to call 9-1-1 as the best first action when in need of emergency assistance.

The Red Cross survey found that 20 percent of Americans said they have gotten some kind of emergency information from an app, including emergency apps, those sponsored by news outlets and privately developed apps.

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