Technology plays a big role in our everyday lives and that’s no different in a natural disaster such as Hurricane Irma or other emergencies. Our phones act as our life line to the world and with the proper apps can help you prepare for or ride out the storm more safely. Here are a few apps and tips that will hopefully help you and your loved ones through Irma and more.
Before the Storm Hits
When awaiting a storm to hit we are often so preoccupied with running to the store to stock up on food or other essentials. When it comes to tech that usually consists of power banks, flashlights, weather radios, and more. Make sure not to forget any of these indispensable items and see our shopping guide for a list of recommended products to help you ride out the storm.
Another great way to put your phone to use before the storm hits is by taking inventory of your home and belongings. If you’re one of the unfortunate ones who has flooding damage or even worse, you’ll be happy to have this when it’s time to file the insurance claim. Take lots of photos or video of every room including serial numbers for large purchases if you can. Don’t forget to back them up with Google Photos or iCloud to ensure that even if your phone gets damaged you won’t lose them.
Weather apps are essential for keeping informed during any weather event such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, or thunderstorms. One of the most popular apps around for this would be The Weather Channel app (iOS | Android). With this app, you can keep on top of your local forecast as well as other weather emergencies happening around the country.
A more specialized app for those specifically tracking a hurricane is the Hurricane Tracker app for Android. This app doesn’t offer the best-looking design but it offers up a lot of important information like forecasts and up to date news on the storm.
FEMA (iOS | Android) is another who offers an app to help with such weather emergencies. This app will come in handy before, during, or even after the storm. With sections laid out for keeping track of weather alerts, tips on how to prepare, and resources for finding shelters or filing a claim this app belongs on anyone’s phone who lives in the path of inclement weather.
Gas Buddy (iOS | Android), Google Maps (iOS | Android) and Waze (iOS | Android) are a few more useful apps for your toolbox if you are planning on evacuating. With these apps, you can check on traffic in your area and find the best places to get gas saving you time in an emergency.
Notifying Friends and Loved Ones
One aspect we cannot overlook during natural disasters is the ability to inform our friends and loved ones that we are safe. Technology also plays a role here, mostly through our mobile phones.
Please remember during a hurricane such as Irma the cellular towers can go down or even become clogged with emergency calls. If at all possible try to text people instead of calling because it’s more likely that your message will go through.
Another option is Facebook’s Safety Check service, during times of crisis or emergencies Facebook enables this feature. It allows you to quickly and easily alert everyone on your friend’s list that you are safe, and we certainly hope you will be this storm season. Please be careful and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.