10 Best Apps For Emergency Preparedness

Disaster can strike in an instant. Whether it is weather-related, man-made or due to some other cause, disasters often occur with little or no warning. That’s why creating and implementing an emergency-preparedness plan could mean the difference between saving your business and losing it all.

At the heart of every successful plan is clear communication. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can help ag retailers and their employees connect with each other and authorities, spreading critical information in a time of crisis. Helping to keep the lines of communication open are dozens of mobile apps specifically designed for emergency preparedness. I’ve researched the most commonly used ones and compiled them in this handy list (in no particular order):

1. FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster and a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations and shelters. (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad)

2. Preparis. This subscription-based app delivers expert information, response protocols, communications, training and tools that protect a company’s employees and operations from terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics, workplace violence and other 21st century threats. Get secure mobile access to a range of features, including crisis plans and information created by your company, crisis team contact information, real-time news feeds and your private “My Preparis” documents. (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad)

3. NIOSH Chemical Hazards. This app is designed as a source of general industrial hygiene information for workers, employers and occupational health professionals. The chemicals or substances contained in the revision include all substances for which the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended exposure limits (RELs) and those with permissible exposure limits (PELs) as found in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry Air Contaminants Standard. Users can search by chemical name, CAS No. and formula. (Android, iPhone and iPad)

4. Shelter Finder. This app from the American Red Cross displays current shelter information from the National Shelter System, which is updated every 30 minutes. The app maps locations across the U.S., and includes details such as the agency managing the shelter, capacity of the shelter and current population, the associated disaster event and the specific shelter address and location. (iPhone and iPad)

5. Pocket First Aid & CPR. This app from the American Heart Association provides quick, concise and clear first aid and CPR instructions from a user’s smartphone. The most recent update features 34 videos and 46 high-resolution illustrations, reorganized content to make it easier to find help in an emergency, an improved user experience and new search functionality. (Android and iPhone)

6. Know Your Plan. This app features property protection guidance from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Know Your Plan contains disaster preparedness checklists for hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, severe winter weather and evacuations. It also gives you the option of setting up reminders to complete a task, tracking your progress and customizing and sharing checklists with your social network. (iPhone and iPad)

7. Disaster Alert. Developed by the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), Disaster Alert features an interactive map of Active Hazards occurring around the globe. Additional information and reports about hazards can be viewed and shared. The term “Active Hazards” refers to a collection of current and real-time incidents (compiled from authoritative sources), which have been designated “potentially hazardous to people, property or assets” by the PDC DisasterAWARE application. (Android, iPhone and iPad)

8. NFPA 1600. Developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the latest edition of NFPA 1600 provides a foundation for disaster and emergency management planning. The entire text is fully searchable and contains active links and phone numbers for NFPA and other agencies involved with emergency management programs, risk mitigation and response. (Android, iPhone and iPad)

9. WISER. The WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) database provides information on biological, chemical and radiological threats. It is a great app for anyone looking to support an existing emergency response infrastructure as it assists first responders in hazardous material incidents. The quality of the information for each threat is excellent, providing everything you would need to know in a HAZMAT scenario from treatments, to distancing and evacuation. (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad)

10. ubAlert — Disaster Alert Network. ubAlert is a global social network that operates to save lives by sharing the knowledge of the world’s citizens with those in danger. The app gives you all the information you need when it comes to disasters happening across the world. Alerts contain basic event details, impact statistics, maps, images, videos and more. You can instantly share alerts with co-workers, family members and friends to get them out of harm’s way via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. (Android, iPhone and iPad)

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7 comments on “10 Best Apps For Emergency Preparedness

  1. Although it's not an "App", PrepperHelper.com is one of the most comprehensive web apps for emergency preparedness and is mobile/iPad friendly. They do promise a mobile app release in the future.

  2. A good app for emergency response is called the "Emergency Info Screen". It creates a snapshot of all your emergency details for your iphone lock screen. This way, even if your phone is locked, rescue workers and good samaritans will know who to contact just in case something happens to you. Perfect for the kids and creating awareness of allergies and other medical conditions. 5 star!

  3. Deploy Pro is an app I’ve created for emergency response teams like CERT, or SAR’s to help keep track of the locations of all of the team members. It’s currently down for a major upgrade, but will be relaunched within a week. You can check out information about it at http://www.deploypro.net.

  4. Another new app that was released earlier this year is My-EOP, My Emergency Operations Plan, which is customized for an organization such as school Districts, Hospitals and County or Municipal Response Teams. My-EOP contains the specific information, locations and contact information for that organization. The organizations Plan(s) are resident on the phone, thus do not depend network connectivity. Very easy to navigate and update.

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