September is National Preparedness Month – here’s one simple thing you can do: Download some free apps for your phone so that if you find yourself in an emergency, you are ready. Pass them along to your family members too, so you can all be informed. Here are a few suggestions.
The free FEMA app
The free FEMA app is a must. One great new feature is that you can get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation. That allows you to follow severe weather alerts for friends and family located anywhere in the country – even if your phone is not located in the area. The app is available in English but it will default to Spanish if those who have set that as the default language. It can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.
The new weather alert feature adds to the app’s existing features: a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on how to survive natural and man-made disasters.
Some other key features of the app include:
- Safety Tips: Tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
- Disaster Reporter: Users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts
- Maps of Disaster Resources: Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers
- Apply for Assistance: The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance
Red Cross has an excellent suite of free emergency apps:
First Aid – Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.
Pet First Aid – Be prepared to help your furry friends with veterinary advice for everyday emergencies.
Blood – Schedule blood donation appointments, track total donations and earn rewards as you help us meet the constant need for blood.
They also have emergency apps for tornado, hurricane, wildfire, flood, earthquake and general emergencies, along with a few apps for kids.