Sara Reiner | Contributor
October 30, 2012

The Mobile App Sandy Survival Guide

 

Superstorm Sandy has created a wide path of devastation, floods and fires.  People have lost their lives, whole cities are flooded and millions are without power.  The damage is estimated at 20 billion dollars, making it one of the worst storms of all time, according to Forbes.

Technology, if you can access it, is here to help. Google’s Crisis Response Team has created the Superstorm Sandy 2012 map to help track the storms movement through the National Hurricane Center. The interactive map shares weather, storm surge and evacuation information from both Weather.com and the U.S. Geological Survey as well as videos of the storm via live cameras and YouTube.

The Red Cross Hurricane app includes “I’m safe” messaging across social media outlets, keeping friends and family in the loop as to your safety.  The app also contains locations of open Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a strobe light, audible alarm and flashlight.

Speaking of flashlights, Android users can download Tiny Flashlight, and iOS owners can try Flashlight by iHandy. Both are free. The only problem with flashlight apps is that they tend to drain your battery life. 

Don't forget to download the following free apps to monitor your battery life: BatterySense on the iPhone or Battery Indicator on Android. You can also purchase solar or battery powered cell phone chargers in case you don't have electricity. And remember, some apps don't require an internet connection. 

If you need to let other people know of your status or location, location-based beacon apps like Glympse, which is free for Android and iOS, can send out the coordinates of your location along with a message via Twitter, Facebook, email and SMS.

“In Case of Emergency” or an ICE app is yet another app everyone should consider.  These applications give first responders a quick way to find out about any medications, medical history or allergies they should need to be aware when treating you, as well as your emergency contact information.  These apps are also available for both Android and iOS.

While our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Sandy, we know nothing can truly prepare you for a natural disaster.  Hopefully we can continue to utilize new mobile technologies as an emergency resource allowing us to bridge communication gaps and bring us all closer in times of need. 

Photo courtesy of CNN.com