Weather information has never been so readily available – which, for us Floridians, can literally be lifesaving. Countless free apps can easily be downloaded to inform you of developing storm status and evacuation alerts. While your local TV, radio, or weather station likely have helpful apps, here are just a few national and statewide ones we think are great to download now:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) App – FEMA says its app is “your personalized disaster resource.” This priceless tool gives you real-time weather alerts, lets you send notifications to loved ones, locates emergency shelters in your area, and more. The app includes great tips and is compatible with screen reader technology.
Florida 511 Mobile App – This Florida-specific app gives you real-time traffic and travel conditions as well as incident information for the entire state. You can personalize it for your area, which is helpful when trying to evacuate or look for an alternative travel route during any storm or related flooding. During non-storm times, users can get information on crashes, congestion, construction, closures and detours throughout Florida. The system includes a website, mobile app, text alerts, social media pages, and turn-by-turn directions.
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network – This app is “more than a map” with warnings from the National Weather Service, advisories from the National Hurricane Center, as well as lightning and strong storm alerts. Users can find details on evacuation zones, routes, open shelters, traffic, weather forecasts, survival tips, resources, and updates from local emergency managers.
American Red Cross – The Red Cross Emergency app (in English and/or Spanish) lets you customize 40 different weather alerts with fast notifications. It provides storm prep tips, interactive maps, and information on open Red Cross shelters. The app is accessible for people with disabilities and is compatible with Apple Watch and Android Wearable devices – and, of course, can be enabled on all Alexa-enabled devices.
Weather Underground – Perfect for the weather geek, this app allows users to receive weather feeds from webcams all around the world in real time. You also can receive local severe weather alerts, UV risk, and local flu outbreaks, and more.
Storm Radar – You no longer have to get caught in a storm thanks to the advanced storm cell tracking technology in this app. Its interactive map allows you to keep an eye on all local weather anywhere around the world and allows you to track lightning within 100 miles (U.S. only).
Download these apps to your smartphone or other device now – and spend time learning how to use them so everything is familiar to you when you need them most. Share the apps with everyone in your family and help them understand how to use them so they, too, are best prepared for hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters or emergencies.