Monday, April 21, 2014

Prepare, Respond and Recover...yep, there's an App for that....but...

I strolled through the paths of the web wilderness to cull some of my favorite lists of prepare, respond and recover apps for crisis and disaster management… say…but what about...?

But What About …No Cell Service?

“Anyone that’s been through a natural disaster realizes cell service is often times one of the 1st things to go! Sometimes having good cell service is tough enough, so why would you bother downloading apps to your phone if a disaster is going to wipe them out?
Well, a lot of these apps once downloaded do not need to be connected to the internet or have cell service to run them. Many are informational apps and will still be able to show you how to do CPR, act as a flashlight, or pull-up important documents as long as they have battery power.”

Of course, you can’t count on cellular, Wi-Fi service or power to charge your batteries during a disaster, but even a partially charged phone may be able to show you how to do CPR, act as a flashlight or give you access to your insurance documents.

Get Your Go-Bag Ready-
(For more on this topic see our previous blog post (3/28/18) )

If you don't have a go-bag, make one now. Be sure to buy a handful of cheap, disposable backup batteries for mobile devices and throw them in your bag. Check out for what else an emergency kit should contain. Keep it packed and ready.
Here are some apps to help you before, during and after the next disaster. 

(more after the jump)

iPhone® $1.99
Knowing what to do in a disaster and knowing how to prepare for one are priceless. Well, $1.99. That's what you'll pay for StopDisaster, an iPhone app that helps walk you through preparedness checklists for hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards and other natural disasters. It'll help you build an emergency kit, get your documents in order and store your emergency phone numbers, ready to dial.
For Android® users, a similar app called Disaster Readiness Guide costs $1.29.

Android and iPhone, Free (limited version)
You may intend to grab your laptop when the earth shakes, but what if you can't? If you have copies of your important files stored in a Dropbox account, you should be able to access them even if your computer doesn't make it out.
Essentially, Dropbox is cloud storage. Install the program on your PC or Mac, upload files to your folder and they should be instantly available on all your other computers. And with the app, your files should be found on your mobile devices as well. Don't have network access? Don't worry. If you categorized your important files with a star, you should still be able to get them on your smartphone.

Flashlight by Rik for iPhone
Brightest Flashlight Free for Android
These apps, which turn your phone into a flashlight, are getting more powerful as smartphone cameras add LED flashbulbs. If the power goes out, a flashlight app can be invaluable. No more rummaging around for a flashlight — and batteries — in those first confusing moments. Keep in mind, however, that your phone's battery should be fully charged when you use flashlight apps, and these apps also can result in high battery drain.

Program "In Case of Emergency" (Label them “ICE”) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have. The app provides first-responders and emergency room personnel with your up-to-date address and photo identification, medical information, blood type, insurance info, and emergency contacts.

Hurricane Tracker
iPhone $1.99
When a hurricane is approaching, you don't want a storm-tracker map from three hours ago; you need the latest official maps, data and projections. This hurricane-tracking app is for serious weather junkies and people who want the most accurate information as they make decisions.
For Android, try the free Hurricane Software app.

Android and iPhone, Free
Everyone can agree on the top priority in a disaster: finding your family. These days, most of your family members probably carry a personal tracking device in the form of their smartphone. Life360 should show you where they are — right now — on a map. The family GPS tracking system should help you find your loved ones, get safety alerts to them or call for help with the tap of a button. It also provides neighborhood safety monitoring.

Facebook for iPhone Free
Facebook for Android Free
Twitter for iPhone Free
Twitter for Android Free
In a crisis, social media can turn from gossip lines to possible lifelines. Whether your friends and family are safe or in danger, they could be posting about it on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, you'll know about some local businesses that are open after a storm or other natural disaster.
Public agencies, also post updates on Twitter. Consider following the National Hurricane Center, FEMA and your local transit agency and police department.

5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite-  iPhone, Free
Scanner Radio app - Android - Free
During a disaster, everyone hears rumors. What's really going on? The answer might be found on police band radio, which you can pick up using this free app. This isn't talk radio; it's an unfiltered feed of cops, firefighters and other public-safety officers. It shouldn’t be your only news source, but it could be worth listening in.

MotionX GPS Drive
iPhone, 99 cents
If you have an iPhone, MotionX GPS Drive is the cheapest and most popular way to guide you out of town on an unfamiliar route. The software even should work without a cellular signal if you plan ahead and download and cache maps.
For help with your local traffic and commutes, Android and iPhone users might consider the Waze app, too. This app provides free navigation and connects you to your local driving community alerting you of existing travel hazards and traffic conditions.

Android and iPhone, Free
Gas prices may be high, but they're not likely to vary by a dollar or more among stations. That could change during a crisis. GasBuddy uses your GPS to display up-to-the-minute gas prices near you.

Hands-Only CPR
Android and iPhone, Free
To treat an adult suffering from cardiac arrest, the American Heart Association recommends hands-only CPR. No more mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But you still have to do it right. The official Hands-Only CPR app walks you through the two-step checklist: Call 911, then start chest compressions. A brief video shows you what to do.
For $1.99, the American Heart Association's Pocket First Aid & CPR includes the same CPR information along with first aid advice for all sorts of situations.

American Red Cross: Shelter View
iPhone, Free
When a hurricane or earthquake drives people from their homes, the American Red Cross steps in to provide shelter. That's great as long as you know how to find the shelter. American Red Cross: Shelter View directs you to the sites.
Currently, this app is not available for Android, but you can still go online to search for a Red Cross shelter.

Red Panic Button 
($3; iOSAndroid). If you find yourself in danger — whether stranded, injured or attacked — your smartphone could be a lifeline. Red Panic Button is your one-touch emergency beacon. Just tap the Red Panic Button, and an alert will be sent to your list of preset emergency contacts via email, text message and Twitter if you choose. Included in the alerts are your exact GPS coordinates and a Google Maps link.

Disaster Readiness 
($2, iOS; $1.50, Android). In the event of a large-scale disaster, telecommunications infrastructure could be severely damaged. There's no telling whether you'll be able to access the Internet.
That's why Disaster Readiness could be crucial to your survival. This downloadable emergency preparedness guide can be accessed offline. It contains more than 175,000 reference guides on how to respond to any disaster including wildfires, flash floods and terrorist attacks.

 (Free; iOSAndroid). Illness and injury can strike just as fast and unexpectedly as any natural disaster. If you can't quickly determine the severity of your condition or where you can get medical treatment, your odds of survival could decrease.
That's why two emergency room doctors developed iTriage. You can search medical symptoms and learn about potential causes. It will also tell you the nearest medical facilities and provide turn-by-turn directions and ER wait times.
iTriage includes emergency hotlines for instant advice from nurses and doctors. There's even a feature to save important personal information such as allergies, medical history and current medications.

($5; iOS). For many people, the first response to an emergency is panic. In a chaotic situation, it's easy to lose focus. But focus is imperative in the first moments of a crisis.
GotoAID is a simple, clean app to guide you through medical emergencies and disasters in the crucial early stages. You'll find first-aid procedures and videos for humans and pets. There are also guides for disaster readiness and tools and checklists to help prepare you for the worst.This app also stores emergency numbers and helps locate relief centers. GotoAID also has a Morse Code generator and an Emergency Pulse beacon.

USA Army survival guide

Engage by E-View: “Receive 30-second ASL videos with news & events for the Deaf along with emergency alerts that vibrate and flash on your Smart Phone!” 

"You never know when you might come across an emergency situation and need help. Having apps that can help you reach out for assistance in any diversity always come in handy. There is an app called SOS Stay Safe 

 that my family uses in case any of us is stuck in any unwanted scenario. SOS Stay Safe  “Is a powerful personal safety application that empowers you against acts of violence, and helps summon aid in an emergency. It lets you send out SOS alerts to friends and family quickly, as soon as you sense danger. The alert is triggered by shaking the device using a customizable shake limit. SOS – Stay Safe! is useful in a wide range of dangerous scenarios ranging from sexual harassment to heart failure.” 

Don't forget to download an App from your major insurance providers

Some others:
Urban Survival skills everyone needs to know:

Other apps for Apple products :
“In case of Crisis”
(Versions include In case of crisis: corp, govt, hotel , education. )

Other apps for Android products :

Do You have some other gems, some Apps that we all need to have? Please share your thoughts with us now. Thanks. 

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