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:
Stay informed with Stop Disaster (iPhone $2) or Disaster Readiness (Android $1.49). These apps walk you through preparing for and what to do in a disaster. There are checklists for hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards. They will suggest items for an emergency kit and store emergency phone numbers.
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, last year, I could not get through to call, email or text my family, but I did get onto facebook! More and more public agencies post updates on twitter, so follow FEMA or your local transit agency and police department.