Today, we use our phones to do everything from texting to snapping photos to watching movies.
Now, you can add “weather a disaster” to that list.
New disaster apps can alert you about pending disasters, teach you how to correctly administer first aid and much more.
Not sure what’s out there? Then check out a few of the top disaster apps below.
- 1. The FEMA app. The mobile app from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends alerts from the National Weather Service, helps you find open shelters, keeps you in the loop with disaster tips, upload disaster photos, apply for disaster assistance and more. Free; available in English and Spanish for Apple, iOs and Blackberry devices.
2. First Aid app. The American Red Cross developed this app to help you in virtually any situation in which you or someone else needs medical attention. Video and animation make learning about first aid fun, while interactive quizzes let you share badges with your friends. It’s also fully integrated with 911 so you can make a call at any time. Free for Android and iOs devices.
3. Storm Shield knows your exact location and sends you push notifications if there’s a tornado, hurricane, thunderstorm or any other dangerous weather condition moving your way. You can select five other locations to track the safety of friends and family who live and work elsewhere. $2.99 for Android and iOS devices.
4. ReUnite lets you share information about missing people and pets so that you (and others) can reunite with them. Encryption protects any sensitive information in the event your device is lost or stolen. Free for Android and iOS devices.
5. Facebook. The world’s largest social network recently introduced a Safety Check feature. It lets you tell your entire network that you’re okay during a disaster. Free for Android and iOS devices.
Of course, technology does not offer a perfect solution. Cell phone towers and power sources are often knocked out during a disaster. A land line (not a cable-provided phone line) may continue to operate since it has its own power source. But again, there’s no guarantee.
The lesson: Don’t rely only on technology to see you through a disaster. Make sure you have an old-fashioned disaster recovery plan for every kind of calamity.