Top 10 Hurricane Apps
March 01, 2022
Even with all kinds of advances in technology, we all know natural disasters can still wreak havoc on our lives, especially here in southeast Texas. In any disaster, it's incredibly important to be able to reach help - that's where technology can make a big difference. Many apps have been created to benefit the user in the event of a hurricane, flood, tornado, or other natural disasters. Some allow the user to contact friends, family, and emergency services at the touch of a button. Other apps provide storm prep checklists, interactive ways to take inventory of your home, and the best routes out in case of evacuation. Others provide real-time updates on the weather near you, where neighbors can upload photos, create warnings and more. Here are some of the top apps to utilize in a disaster.
1. Disaster Alert
This app alerts users to disasters and other hazards around the globe. Depending on your settings, Disaster Alert can notify you early of the warning signs that may lead to natural disasters or other weather events. It allows you to monitor a wide range of extreme conditions - hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding, wind and thunderstorms, man-made disasters, and more. The app provides a streamlined way to view areas affected by catastrophe and monitor conditions near you or loved ones. You can even enable push notifications to stay on top of things.
2. Tropical Hurricane Tracker
Available on: iOS
Hurricane Tracker is similar to Disaster Alert, but focuses only on developing hurricanes. Whether they're in the Caribbean or right here in the Gulf, the app uses maps and graphics to keep you updated on the progression of the latest storm. Hurricane Tracker also allows you to enable notifications for a variety of events, including when a storm worsens or changes course. Unlike Disaster Alert, however, there is a small price - Hurricane Tracker can be found on the App Store and is available for $2.99.
3. Emergency Radio
Available on: iOS
Emergency Radio is an award-winning police scanner app that allows you to listen to live communications from local police, fire, EMS, Coast Guard, NOAA weather information, and more. With (quite literally) thousands of live radio streams across the United States, you can not only keep up with your local area, but you can monitor your loved ones as well. The app's creators add new locations to the stream every day to continue to expand its reach. Unlike Hurricane Tracker this app is free, but does include in-app purchases for additional functionality.
The official app of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this app is mainly tailored to the United States. Most of its contents are best used prior to a disaster, as it includes tons of information on how to prepare for and stay safe during different types of natural disasters. The interactive emergency kit checklists, maps of FEMA recovery shelters, first aid tips, and more can help you feel more prepared for a disaster before it strikes and provides a resource for surviving one. Possibly the best part? It's free on all operating systems.‚Äã
5. Facebook Safety Check
One of the newest features added to Facebook, the Safety Check tool is a new way to communicate your status with loved ones during potentially dangerous events. If you have Facebook, the tool activates automatically and lives inside the Facebook app - no need to download anything else. If a disaster hits near your location, Facebook will send you a notification that asks if you are okay. If so, select the "I'm Safe" option, and Facebook automatically generates a post and notifies family and friends of your status. Safety Check also allows you to post if you're out of the disaster's range. Should a friend be impacted, you can click on their safety update to view the status of other friends who may be in the same area.
6. Weather Underground
Weather Underground brings hyperlocal weather information directly to your smartphone. Most of the live information is crowdsourced, making this app like the Waze of weather. Users can also upload and access photos, interactive radar data, and satellite imagery to track a storm's progress. Weather Underground allows you to set up alerts for different types of weather events, both in your area and near your loved ones.
The makers of Weather Underground have also created a sister app called WunderMap that looks more like your classic weather forecast. It includes an animated radar on which you can layer storm conditions, hurricane paths, wildfires, and other conditions.
7. Hurricane Hound
Available on: Android
Cost: Free, $1.99
Hurricane Hound operates on a Google Maps background to show predictions, development, and paths of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins. National Weather Service forecasts, discussion boards, public advisories, and satellite images are also available, and you can even customize your preferred wind speed units. If you're a storm chaser, there is a paid version that has even more options - but the free one provides nearly everything you could want to know about approaching storms.
8. Natural Disaster MonitorAvailable On: Android
Natural Disaster Monitor is another weather-monitoring app that allows you to view all kinds of weather conditions around the world. The interactive display is color coded for tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Icons on each event indicate the alert level and will become more transparent as time goes on and the event is further in the past. You can see detailed information about the event by clicking on its icon, and geographic grids can be displayed if you choose.
9. MyRadar Weather
Available On: iOS, Android
MyRadar Weather Radar (Android, iOS) provides timely and accurate data on approaching storms, courtesy of high-res animated weather radars and 11 different overlay graphics, including a current satellite image of cloud cover. You can also enable severe weather watches and warnings via push notifications, so you're alerted about impending thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornados.
Available On: iOS, Android
Life360 is truly the app that does it all when it comes to keeping track of your friends and family members. The free version provides Advanced Location Sharing, two days of location history and two Place Alerts that notify you when someone arrives somewhere (like when your kid makes it to school, or your spouse makes it to work). You can also enable automatic Crash Detection that will let you know as soon as your loved one's phone is involved in a collision.
Life360 also offers a paid subscription version that gives you even more features like Silent SOS alerts, 24/7 Emergency Dispatch, Family Safety Assist that gives your whole family real-time access to an emergency support specialist at any time, Identity Theft Protection with up to $1M in coverage, access to a nurse helpline, and more.
Hurricanes and other natural disasters are no joke, and some of these apps can help you be prepared and stay connected. For more hurricane resources - including how to prep your finances for a disaster, additional articles, printable checklists, etc. - visit our Hurricane Preparedness page. As always, in the event of a local natural disaster, we will also update our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, as well as the alert bars on our site.