With so many apps in use today, it is hardly surprising that there are now disaster preparedness and first aid apps. In addition to disaster preparedness apps, prepaid SIM card plans and other mobile apps also come in handy during a disaster. They make it easy to keep in touch and to know what is happening. Some useful disaster apps available for smartphones include those listed below. Many of these applications come in freemium versions — that is, free and a premium or paid version.
Useful Disaster Apps to Deal with Emergencies
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this free app provides directions to the nearest shelters and relief locations as well as information on preparing for various types of disasters. Users also get valuable information on making disaster plans and an interactive checklist guide.
Pocket First Aid and CPR
This offering from the American Heart Association (AHA) provides easy-to-understand instructions on applying first aid as well as CPR. Medical information and contacts for medical personnel can be stored so that they are readily available in the event of an emergency. This app is updated frequently with information and news from the AHA. Making up a first aid kit is a breeze when using this tool, which provides a list of what to include. Cost: $1.99
Cover of Pocket First Aid (Pockets)
First Aid by American Red Cross
This brand new app is free to download for iPhone and Android users. It provides a step-by-step guide for performing first aid specific to certain situations such as an asthma attack. A call 9-1-1 button makes it easy to call for help when extra advice becomes necessary.
Hands Only CPR
Even people who have trained before need an occasional refresher course. This app from the AHA is just what you need to perform CPR on someone even if you have never been trained. Following the two steps in this app can make the difference between life and death. The first step is a 9-1-1 call button and then there are the instructions for performing CPR. The name means that there is no need for rescue breaths. This app is free to download.
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Disaster Alert (Pacific Disaster Center’s World Disaster Alert)
A free and very user-friendly application, it catalogs 12 hazards from around the world on an interactive map as well as in list form. The hazards that are tracked must meet certain pre-defined thresholds before they are deemed news worthy. Some of the hazards covered are earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and wild fires from around the globe. This app is free.
ARC Shelter View
This app provides a list of American Red Cross shelters and tells you whether they are full or have available space. The information on availability of space is given in real-time and is uploaded every 30 minutes. Best of all, this app is free to download.
Life360 Family Locator
Designed for use with iPhone and Android, this app helps people inform others of where they are and that they are OK. This app also lets you know if there are any dangerous situations in areas where family members are located. The app comes with a free group messaging service and is free to download.
Are You Ready
Forcedreadiness.com is the brains behind this product from the Department of Homeland Security. This is useful in helping you to plan for and manage during a wide range of disasters including heat waves, fires, acts of terrorism, hurricanes and tornadoes. This app costs about $1.99.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No time to dial or read instructions? This app is for you. A simple shake of your iPhone or a shout for help will activate this app and get help in a time of need. This app is designed to relay by text messages your telephone number and location to a pre-selected contact. Best of all, this app is free to download.
Some of these apps serve more than one purpose, with most focusing on disaster preparedness or readiness and first aid. Thankfully, most of these are available for iPad, Android, iPhone and Blackberry. It is a good idea to keep a list of the most popular smartphone apps close at hand. You just never know when you may need to make use of these apps to help someone, or just to know what is happening in a disaster.
Guest Post written by Matt Rawlings, a tech enthusiast, with a vast knowledge of the most popular smartphone apps on the market.