These Apps Can Help You Cope with Hurricane Season
With the 2018 hurricane season already underway and forecasters predicting a seventy percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 40 miles per hour or higher, you can never be too prepared for an active storm season.
One step to take is to download some apps and invest in some up-to-date information that can help you stay safe and connected. Here are a few ideas to help you and your family weather the storm.
With over one billion users around the globe, WhatsApp is a freeware cross-platform messaging app that works over Voice Over IP. This simple but powerful application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and most importantly, user location. The app offers unsurpassed reliability, even in areas of low connectivity, so you and your family can stay connected even if the power goes out. The WhatsApp Live Location feature allows you to share your real-time location so you can let friends and loved ones know where you are, even if it’s in the middle of a stormy event.
FEMA and Red Cross Apps
The official apps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross offer tools and information for a wide range of emergency situations, including alerts from the National Weather Service and safety reminders. The Red Cross actually offers several apps including individual emergency, tornado, hurricane, and earthquake apps.
The old-school Hurricane Tracker may be more than eight years old now but this paid app ($4.99) remains the most used and most comprehensive tracking app available for smartphones. In addition to push alerts about new and current storms, the app features real-time National Hurricane Center updates, audio and video updates, and custom graphics created by the app developer team. It also allows users to share information easily with family and friends via email, text messages, Facebook, and Twitter.
The National Hurricane Center Data app
Available for iPhone and iPad, this official app from our National Hurricane Center displays 8-hour satellite imagery animations, so you always know when a storm is about to hit. It also includes a 5-day hurricane forecast and 10 useful filters to let you view storm information from different perspectives.
This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration app provides comprehensive information not only on hurricanes, but also tornado and severe thunderstorm alerts, animated satellite views of incoming weather, the latest marine conditions from the National Data Buoy Center, and the ultraviolet index. It’s a comprehensive data set that covers a wider variety of weather scenarios.
Max Mayfield’s Hurricane Tracker
Max Mayfield knows his stuff when it comes to hurricanes due to his service to the country as the former Director of the National Hurricane Center. He joins meteorologists Bryan Norcross and Betty Davis in bringing users the latest and most accurate information on developing tropical storms via his app, all for the low, low price of free.
Of course, apps aren’t the only way to help prepare yourself for a hurricane. There are all kinds of useful tools for sale that can help you and your family weather the storm. A hand crank charger can enable you to turn elbow grease into power for your devices in the event the power goes out. A clever new device from startup Whistle can help you keep track of your pets with a simple but effective GPS tracker. Finally, a reliable weather radio can help you stay informed so you don’t miss any alerts or updates before, during, or after a storm.
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