There is a constant need to develop faster and more effective methods of communication and personal safety, especially in times of natural and unanticipated disaster. Fortunately, mobile technologies play an ever-increasing role in emergency and response efforts. While there are many disaster preparedness and response apps to choose from, here are the 6 most widely used ones.
1. ICE Medical Standard
The ICE app stores important information for first responders and hospital staff to use in case of an emergency, including medical information, emergency contacts, and insurance information. It’s a great way to keep all of your important information on-hand, and some information within the app can still be accessed even when your phone is locked, in the case of an emergency. The app is available in various languages so that users can easily switch between them while traveling.
2. Disaster Alert
Disaster Alert provides mobile access to multi-hazard monitoring of and early warnings for natural disasters around the globe. It features an interactive map of Active Hazards occurring around the globe, and additional information and reports can be viewed and shared. The term “Active Hazards” refers to a collection of current and real-time incidents (compiled from authoritative sources), which have been designated “potentially hazardous to people, property or assets” by the PDC DisasterAWARE application.
3. Emergency: Alerts & Notifications
The Emergency: Alerts & Notifications app, made by the American Red Cross, allows users to monitor conditions in their area or the area of loved ones with real-time alerts for severe weather and hazards, including earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, extreme heat, and more. The app includes a Family Safe feature as well as preloaded preparedness and critical emergency content that can be accessed without mobile connectivity.
The American Red Cross also has other apps such as First Aid, Floods, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Wildfires, Hurricanes and Volunteer. Most have interactive videos and step-by-step advice, as well as customizable warning indicators for your location.
Life360 is an app that enables families to stay in touch, for both everyday use and emergency situations. Families can set up a private network, and with the tap of a button, they can let each other know where they are and if they’re safe. You can also enable notifications for when your family comes and goes from home, school and work, and when they complete drives.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency app contains safety and preparedness information for different types of emergency situations, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a feature that lets you plan emergency meeting locations, and information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster. It also keeps you updated with weather-related alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service, and has a platform for users to share disaster photos to help out emergency managers.
With the tap of a button, SafeTrek can send emergency help to your exact location. To use the SafeTrek, open the app and keep a finger on the screen’s sensor, and keep pressing it until you no longer feel unsafe. Removing your finger triggers a screen asking for a four-digit code. If you enter the code, that’s your signal to the app that you’ve made it home safely — if you don’t, SafeTrek calls the police and sends them to where you are.