Be Prepared for an Emergency with the Right Apps

Emergency Apps

September is Emergency Preparedness Month.

It’s a good idea to evaluate how prepared you would be to handle an emergency. So now is the time. With the advent of Apps that do just about anything you can imagine, of course there are Apps that could help you handle an emergency.

Here are a few:

Hurricane Tracker (iPhone $3) will give you real-time storm-tracking maps and will contact you when a storm is approaching your location.

For those black-out emergencies Flashlight (iPhone and Android free) turns your phone into a flashlight. No more searching in the junk drawer.

For a medical emergency Hands-Only CPR (iPhone and Android free) will walk you through a two-step checklist, with a brief video showing you how to do CPR.

If you are ever in need of finding an emergency shelter ARC: Shelter View (iPhone free) will help you locate the nearest Red Cross shelter.

For information 5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite (iPhone free) follows police-band radio, which allows you to listen to police, firefighters and other public safety feeds.

A valuable tool to find your family in a disaster is Life360 (Android and iPhone free). This app will track family members and show you where they are on a map.

Storing your most important documents on a cloud service like Dropbox (Android and iPhone free) will allow you access to them even if your computer is down.

In a crisis, you can turn to Facebook or Twitter (Android and iPhone free). I know these are not apps, but they will work. During the east coast earthquake, I could not get through to a call or text. But I did get on facebook! More and more public agencies post updates on twitter, so follow FEMA or your local transit agency and police department.

It's a good idea to evaluate how prepared you would be to handle an emergency. Click To Tweet
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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Linda Samuels on September 2, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Janet- Your post couldn’t be more timely with hurricane Dorian slamming the southeast. These are excellent emergency resources that you listed. Emergencies are stressful to experience, especially weather emergencies. And while being prepared doesn’t diminish the damage that can occur, it can help to feel some control with knowledge, resources, and documents you might need. My heart goes out to all those in the path of Dorian. I hope that you are safe.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 3, 2019 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Linda. So many people affected by hurricane Dorian and it’s unclear path isn’t helping. Preparation is key. Hopefully people will be prepared and safe.

  2. Janet Barclay on September 3, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Great resources! We’ve found that Facebook will work in places when texting won’t, and vice versa. And Twitter is especially useful for tracking storms and other significant events.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 3, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Great info Janet. I didn’t know that facebook and twitter were stronger in different areas.

      • Janet Barclay on September 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm

        To clarify: If you’re somewhere that you can’t get a good signal for your phone but there’s WiFi, you can still communicate through FB messenger. If you’re using data, it might not make a difference.

  3. Seana Turner on September 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I have to say that this aspect of Facebook has surprised me. Facebook has become the first place I go not only to connect with some people (e.g. those for whom I don’t have an email address or phone number), but also to see what’s going on. Friends on Facebook post about downed trees, road closures, school closures and all of those kinds of things. The latest info is often on Facebook before I hear about it anywhere else. What a different world we live in now! Thanks for this list of resources.. some great apps to check out.

  4. Janet Schiesl on September 3, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Thanks Seana.

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