Ideally, you’re monitoring storms as they head your way and already have your battery-operated weather radio in your emergency kit. But today’s world is powered by social media, and there are several smartphone apps and tools that can help you before and after a severe weather event. All of these apps are available for download in your preferred app store.
This free app has a lot of great features, including access preparedness information without a data connection, monitoring the location of those in your contacts, and supports both English and Spanish languages. It also displays every Red Cross shelter within the impact area on a map and projects the storm’s path with estimated times.
If tracking the storm is what you’re looking for, then the simple design of this Hurricane Tracker is the right app for you. The app can be set to alert you when the track of the hurricane updates or hits a new location. It also shows forecasts as reported by the NOAA, including wind speeds and how far away the storm is from your location. If you like tracking historic hurricanes, you can do this on this free app. You can upgrade to a pro version that eliminates ads and has support for Apple Watch.
The Weather Channel has a high standard for storm reporting, and their Storm Radar app has lots of map overlays for hurricanes, temperature, cloud cover, local alerts, storm tracks, and radar. The map shows animations both from the past track of the storm and where it’s predicted to go. Several features are available with a paid premium upgrade.
Get information straight from the experts at FEMA with this app. From real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations that you can also share with contacts via text, email, and social media to information on shelters, you’ll be set. Safety tips are also included for common disasters along with information on making an emergency family plan and a customizable emergency kit checklist. An added bonus is the ability to register for FEMA assistance through the app.
This free app can be helpful if you need to evacuate and are looking for information on traffic or alternate, safe routes. Going beyond what standard map applications can do, Waze helps provide real-time updates on accidents, traffic, and routes. It adjusts mid-trip to help you get where you need to go safely and quickly.
Your smartphone or other devices can be valuable assets in a severe weather emergency. Always have a back-up and keep your device protected from the elements in a plastic bag. You can change your settings to prolong the battery or even add a cordless charger for longer battery life during a power outage.
Preparation is key, and these applications as well as monitoring the storm via social media can help you make the best decisions for your family and your home.