With the latest incidents of natural and unanticipated disasters, there seems to be a greater need than ever to explore faster and more effective methods of activating relief efforts. Communications technologies — including the use of social and mobile tools — continue to play increasing roles in emergency and rescue efforts as well as for overall personal and family safety. Below are some of the most popular apps for disaster preparedness and disaster recovery.
- Red Cross: The Red Cross is the gold standard in terms of quantity and quality of disaster apps. Their apps include first aid apps, hurricane apps, shelter finder apps, and a very informative app for children teaching them disaster preparedness tips. http://www.redcross.org/get-he
- ICE Standard: This app helps first responders and emergency room personnel locate a person’s updated medical information, emergency / medical contacts, medical insurance information, blood type, name, address and a photo verification of the individual. It backs up this information on your phone, so you can access it in your car or with family/friends. https://www.icestandardtech.co
- Bizaster: This free app, available in English and Spanish, was developed by the Florida SBDC to assist small businesses with preparing, responding and recovering from disasters and business interruptions. The application features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and assistance with business continuity planning in a user-friendly and accessible format. Click to download the app for iPhone or Android.
- FEMA: If you download this app, you can receive alerts from National Weather Service for five different locations, access maps of disaster resources and shelters, and utilize other features. The app also has Spanish language capability and allows you to access Federal disaster assistance from your smart phone. https://www.fema.gov/mobile-ap
- Hurricane Tracker: This is a very comprehensive app focused on hurricane-related information. You can see live hurricane briefings, access NOAA weather radio, see detailed satellite loops and maps, and receive updates on your phone. Click the corresponding link to download the app for your iPhone or Android.
- Emergency Radio: The Emergency Radio app gives you live access to EMS, police, fire, NOAA weather and other frequencies. You can add favorites to quickly access those frequencies in an emergency. Click to download the app for iPhone or Android.
For more information on these and other disaster-related apps, please see the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Disaster Information Management Research Center website at: https://sis.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/