January 26, 2015

Apps for Emergencies


UPDATED for 2017’s Hurricane Harvey!

From 2015… Today the Northeast is bracing for a massive blizzard, and CNN says 58 million people are in its path.

Here are a handful of apps and gadgets that you might download or have on hand to ride out the storm and handle weather-related emergencies.

  • Visual 911+
    This app helps you create an emergency notification list that will triangulate your general location with GPS even if cellular coverage goes down. It’s my new favorite emergency app.
  • FEMA App
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency app provides disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list and info about shelters and emergency meeting locations. You can also add photos and GPS coordinates of disasters in your area.
  • Red Cross Apps
    The American Red Cross has a host of apps that can help in an emergency, from shelter locators to first aid help.
  • ubAlert
    This app gives you disaster updates for events in your area.
  • Flash Alerts
    This app gives you updates and predictions for local weather like a NOAA radio.
  • ReUnite
    The U.S. National Library of Medicine created this app to help reunite families after a disaster.
  • FlightAware
    This is my go-to place to check flight delays and cancellations.
  • Twitter
    Even if you are not an avid tweeter, Twitter can be an amazing resource for information and help during a disaster. You don’t even have to have a Twitter account. Watch for hashtags for local updates. Right now #HurricaneHarvey is trending, so that’s a good place to start.
  • A good mobile device battery pack
    If you can still make it to a department store, pick up some good quality battery packs. If the lights go out, you can use them to power your Facebook updates for hours. After a long series of loser batteries, I just bought this one, and it rocks. A fellow nerd also recommends this one.

Your Turn! What other technology do you use during an emergency? Add to the list!


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