Smart phones, emergency apps and social media sites are quickly becoming a part of many people’s tools in dealing with an emergency. During a natural disaster you can use your smart phone to get the latest news, first-aid and disaster safety tips, road closures, open shelter locations, tornado-earthquake-hurricane-wildfire warnings and event check in with family and friends. As long as cell towers are not impacted, your phone is an ideal tool to use in an emergency.
We wanted to share with you a few helpful apps to consider for download:
ICE: In Case of Emergency
This app stores important information for first responders and hospital staff to use in case of emergency involving you:
- A list of people to call – they can be called directly from the app
- Insurance information
- Doctor’s names and numbers – they can be called directly from the app
- Medical Conditions
FEMA Smart Phone App
The FEMA App (smartphone app for mobile devices) contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). The app is free to download through your smartphone provider’s app store:
American Red Cross Apps
Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do.
The Red Cross Shelter Finder is available in the iTunes store and works on iOS devices. The Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an easy to use map interface.
The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app offers videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.
Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.
Be ready for wildfires with the official Red Cross wildfire app. “Blaze Warnings” lets you see where NOAA has issued wildfire warnings, “Blaze Alerts” notify you when a new wildfire occurs and the “Blaze Path Tracker” gives you a current view of the wildfire’s track and perimeter. You can also let loved ones know that you are safe even if the power is out and learn what steps you should take to prepare your family, home and pets – all from the palm of your hand.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
Don’t want to download anything? Well they still have you covered –
In 2012, Wireless carriers rolled out the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) service across the nation. WEA is a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and wireless carriers, to enhance public safety. There is no cost to the mobile phone user for this service and users do not have to register.
This is one additional source for citizens to receive information regarding potential imminent threats, emergencies or other critical information. One advantage of WEA is that it provides emergency information specific to the geographic location of your mobile phone. This means that you may receive alerts while at work, home, when traveling or at any location where the alerts are broadcast within the U.S.
Although all existing mobile phones are not capable of receiving WEA message most new phones will contain the necessary technology to receive the alerts. New incoming emergency alert messages will be announced through a unique sound and vibration notification.
Information regarding current markets where WEA is available, and current WEA capable devices, may be found at the Verizon or AT&T websites. Other wireless providers will generally have WEA information available on their respective websites or visit CTIA for additional information.
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