Are you lost and need to find your way back to point A? There’s an app for that. Need to identity a plant to see if it’s poisonous? There’s an app for that too. In fact, you’d be surprised at the wealth of knowledge located in your phone. In times of emergency and disaster, here are our top 10 picks for apps you should have on your phone. Best of all, they’re all free to download and available for Android and iOS users!
1. Life360 Family Location Tracker
Knowing where your friends and family are is essential during any emergency. With Life360, you can monitor where friends and family are, and even get alerts when they leave and arrive at certain locations that you set up. (Great for keeping an eye on teenagers!) There’s also messaging built-in to Life360 to text everyone in the private circle, plus a Help Alert feature that calls, texts, and emails the group members when you enable it.
One of the best all-purpose weather apps, AccuWeather provides timely emergency alerts for all sorts of events, making it a great hurricane tracker app and a general weather app for showing when it will snow, rain, flood, etc. You can monitor multiple locations at once, see the weather as it stands right now, and view the hourly forecast or extended forecast for the week and month.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides real-time alerts concerning all sorts of disasters. When you add a new location to get alerts, you have full control over what environmental alert types to monitor. FEMA also delivers emergency alerts regarding evacuations, civil danger, child abductions, hazardous materials, nuclear power plants, radiological hazards, 911 phone outages, riots, explosions, and more.
Just like friends and family, pets get lost too, especially during a natural disaster. If this happens to you, download PawBoost. It’s a community-driven lost and found pets app that helps pet owners find their lost pets. Simply upload images and details of your pet and then all the users of PawBoost will be notified. You can read articles on lost and found tips and even make your own lost pet flyer using the template on the app. Over a million pets and counting have been found using Pawboost!
5. Zello Walkie Talkie
It’s back to the 80s, but with higher tech features and a lot more useful. With over 150 million users worldwide, this app is a popular walkie-talkie push-to-talk app (PTT). It’s popular to use with the elderly and children. The app is not a traditional emergency call app, but it can be used to reach people in emergencies, as long as you have a network or Wi-Fi connection. Users can join channels and instantly send voice messages or photos, and the app even works over older 2G networks.
First Aid is a must! While it’s great to be certified, the American Red Cross app features easy-to-follow instructions and videos on how to respond to common emergencies such as burns, bleeding, and choking. It also includes safety tips, emergency contact lists, and a hospital locator. Want to test your knowledge? Take interactive quizzes on the app and earn badges for your achievements.
7. ICE Medical Standard
This app is incredibly helpful for people with medical issues. During an emergency, it puts your vital health info and emergency medical contacts on your lock screen, so first responders can see it all immediately, whether you’re alert or unconscious. It’s super easy for even the most technology-adverse user to use. Just enter your medical information and emergency contacts and the app organizes it. This makes it easier to get treatment in case of a medical emergency.
8. Offline Survival Manual
In the middle of nowhere? This app contains essential survival tips for emergencies and outdoor activities. It informs the user how to find life-saving medicinal plants to survive environmental hazards and injuries, provides planning aids, survival kits, basic medicine, getting water, making fire, and building a shelter. Best of all, it can be used from anywhere in the world and it works offline—no internet connection needed.
When you call 911, you expect help to find you right away. However, dialing 911 from a mobile phone doesn’t bring instant aid, because dispatchers need some location information to find you. That’s where SirenGPS comes in. With the touch of one big red button, nearby first responders will receive your location and the profile you input into the app (emergency contacts, medical history, allergies and current medications), improving your chance of being rescued in time. The one downside? Your community needs to subscribe to Siren 911 for it to work.
Although the basic features of this app are free (having an emergency dispatcher watch over your location 24/7 and being able to silently summon help to your exact location through a panic button) there’s also a subscription plan of $10 for additional safety tools. We’re including it on this list because we think the added cost to prevent an emergency is 100 percent worth it! For $10 per month, riders and drivers of cars, bikes and scooters will also get automatic crash detection and response. Just activate the Noonlight app on your smartphone, and you’re covered!
Should a disaster temporarily displace you from your home, ALE Solutions is there to help. We provide extra staff around the clock in our call center during times of high demand to make certain that adjuster and policyholder alike are responded to quickly. Policyholders can submit receipts for faster reimbursement through the MyALE HOME app. Learn more about our catastrophe logistics services here.