When disaster strikes, could your smartphone help keep you informed?
From Sandy to summer wildfires, 2012 reminded us that no one is immune from weather-related disasters.
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we are experiencing more extreme weather events than ever before – with more to come.
Even a winter snowstorm or a flash flood can cause hazardous conditions.
This year, stay ahead of the forecast with these apps for disaster alerts and disaster preparedness.
Allstate Weather Alerts
Sign up to receive Allstate weather alerts for up to five different geographic locations — so you’ll always know what’s going on where you or your loved ones live. Choose from eight different weather categories and customize your notification preferences.
Before a weather-related disaster strikes, you will receive up-to-the-minute warnings and other important information to help you make informed choices and protect your safety.
Pacific Disaster Center Disaster Alert
Find out where a natural disaster is happening and how it might affect you. This app combines information from NOAA’s National Weather Service, the National Tsunami Warning Center, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center and more.
Get instant access to global active hazard maps, advisories and other related information anytime, anywhere, so you can stay informed of hazards ranging from hurricanes to volcanic eruptions to droughts.
Red Panic Button
When disaster strikes and you need assistance, simply press the red panic button to call for help. The app will send an SMS, email or Tweet with your exact GPS coordinates to a list of predetermined contacts.
The Red Panic Button for Android app can also automatically dial 911. The GPS coordinates make it easier for emergency response teams to locate you.
Sometimes, when an emergency happens, the first instinct may be to panic. This app brings calm to the chaos, walking you through the basic steps of crisis response and helping you make smart, focused decisions during the critical early minutes.
In addition to first aid procedures, the app also features a checklist to help you prepare for natural disasters, ranging from thunderstorms to volcanic eruptions. Plus, there’s a special first aid section for cats and dogs.
American Red Cross Mobile Apps
If a hurricane or other natural disaster is approaching your area, sometimes the safest place for your family may be at an American Red Cross shelter — so, the organization has created an app to help you find the nearest shelter.
You can view shelters based on your current GPS location and estimated shelter populations. The American Red Cross also offers a variety of other apps, including programs that alert you to hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes and one that offers first aid advice.
In this day and age, it’s tempting to rely on consistent Internet access and 24-hour cable news for information. But, during an emergency, you may be without Internet access and other critical telecommunications infrastructure for days.
The Disaster Readiness app includes access to more than 175,000 reference guides that can be downloaded and stored offline. Whether you’re battling flash floods or a wildfire, this is the ultimate disaster preparedness app.
You can’t do anything to keep a natural disaster from striking your area; the best you can do is stay informed and prepare your family as much as possible.
This guest post comes from the editors of The Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.