Emergency Apps: Using Smartphones To Stay Safe

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During an emergency, your smartphone and a couple of key apps could become your most important safety tools.

In April of 2011 a tornado outbreak devastated Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Hundreds of lives were lost and power was knocked out in some areas for days. For many people, cell phones became a life-line. Today’s modern smartphones and the apps for them, offer even more tools for surviving a crisis.

Here are a couple of quality apps to consider downloading before the next disaster strikes your area:

Emergency Radio Free

This app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad lets you listen in on police, fire and EMS crews – also NOAA weather communications and HAM radio frequencies. A quick search using the “nearby” button shows what channels are available in your area instantly.

SAS Survival Guide

This guide costs $5.99 in iTunes but packs a lot of value for the price. The app offers survival advice for a whole range of circumstances – from weather emergencies to hiking trips gone awry. The first aid section offers step-by-step instructions for treating various injuries. There is also a tornado guide with tips for protecting your family and property.

Flashlight Apps

There are several free apps for Apple and Android that turn your device into a flashlight. Just search flashlight in your phone’s app store and you’ll find several good options. Brightest Flashlight Free app for Android illuminates your space using both the phone’s camera flash and LED screen.

Kid Doodle

Crisis situations can be especially hard on kids, so keep them distracted while you focus on the emergency tasks at hand with gaming apps from your device’s app store. There are tons of free apps available, so download one that’s appropriate for your child’s age. Kid Doodle for Android is an addictive drawing application where kids can draw on the screen with their fingers and then playback their movements as a movie.