As Peak hurricane season in Florida is in full force, we’ve compiled a list of smartphone apps we at Tadlock Roofing consider must-haves to be fully prepared if and when disaster strikes.
Dialing 911 should be your first action in cases of emergencies, but during times of a large-scale disaster, phone lines and personnel will often be completely overwhelmed by the thousands of others also seeking help. Crowdsource Rescue, an appropriately named non-profit application was created as a solution to this problem. The app was made to connect civilian rescuers with those in need and is credited with over 30,000 rescues by over 8,000 rescuers during last year’s Hurricane Harvey in Houston alone.
The Harmany app is much like Airbnb but made specifically for short-term shelter during natural disasters. Harmany provides a safe and secure option that offers a convenient and cost-effective alternative for people who need to find temporary housing quickly due to emergency and evacuation events. Users are prompted to verify their identity and then may either elect to search listings of those providing shelter or offer up their own home as a shelter for those who are not able to stay in theirs.
The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) app contains a wealth of information to assist you during any weather event. The FEMA App allows users to receive emergency alerts and information so that you and your loved ones are prepared and informed before, during and after a disaster. The app also provides safety notifications, emergency preparedness tips, and listings of other disaster resources.
Hurricane – National Red Cross
The Hurricane app by the National Red Cross has become a staple for monitoring conditions in your local area. The app allows you to track storms, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe – a definite must have for anybody living in an area where a hurricane may strike or who has loved ones who do.
GasBuddy’s main function is to inform users of local gas prices but during natural disasters, the app will also display which gas stations have lost power along with their fuel availability as these resources tend to become scare during a widespread evacuation event. Another valuable resource for those having to evacuate their homes.
The Zello app allows you to use your phone as a walkie-talkie or two-way radio as long as you have any cell network or WiFi connection. Zello not only allows you to communicate to your loved ones 1-on-1 but also has group chats created for keeping you informed during disaster assistance (Crowdsource Rescue has one for example https://zello.com/crowdsourcerescue — a directory of disaster-specifc groups can be found by going to Zello.com and clicking the banner at the top). You may already be familiar with Zello as it was downloaded by over 6 million people during last year’s Hurricane Irma.
No cell service? No WiFi? No problem. FireChat was created to allow you to communicate when all other required infrastructure is not functioning. This works using Bluetooth and other technologies to create a peer-to-peer network using other connected devices to transmit signals.