5 apps to conquer your emergency preparedness procrastination

If you’re like me, you’ve been reading the coverage of the hurricanes and feeling like you should do something to be prepared for disasters. Preparing for an emergency sounds like a huge task and I didn’t know where to start. But, since it is National Preparedness Month, I want to share some apps that helped me ease into preparing for an emergency and overcome the anxiety of thinking about the next disaster. These apps are easy to use, intuitive, and great resources for before, during, and after an emergency. Here are five apps that helped me prepare, plus a bonus app to help kids start to understand emergency preparedness.

App #1: Emergency by the American Red Cross

Emergency by the American Red Cross.webp

This app has information related to all different kinds of emergencies, including ones we are concerned about here in the Northwest, like earthquakes, power outages, extreme heat, wildfires, and floods. In the “emergency toolkit,” there is a messaging system to alert loved ones that you’re safe. They help make a family emergency plan, show instruction on how to do basic first aid, and give links to weather and severe storm updates. If there are shelters in place, this app provides a list of all shelters in your area. Download it on Android and Apple.

App #2: Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross

Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross

This app contains information for dog and/or cat owners on how to provide first aid for their pet and how to prepare for pets during emergencies. It informs about early warning signs of serious conditions and how to assemble a pet first aid kit. The app also connects you with resources if your pet is lost and addresses questions for non-emergency situations, such as spaying & neutering, giving your pet medications, traveling with your pet, and improving your pet’s health and well-being. Download it on Android and Apple.

App #3: FEMA App

FEMA AppThis app was made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that responds to major disasters. It has preparation guidelines to create an emergency plan, weather alerts from the National Weather Service, and disaster resource information, including shelter information, disaster recovery centers, applications for disaster assistance, and contact information of FEMA representatives. Download it on Android and Apple.

App #4: Liberty Mutual Home Gallery App

Liberty Mutual Home Gallery AppThis is useful in case of property damage, robbery, insurance claims made on possession, or simply knowing what you possess. This app allows you to catalog all your possessions by room in each property. It allows you to use your camera to document the condition of the item and the receipt from within the app. This app manages the items by designating which property and which room the item is in and you can export the information into a PDF or CVS file. You do not need to be a Liberty Mutual member to use it. Download it on Android and Apple.

App #5: PulsePoint AED

PulsePointThis app gives a satellite map with registered automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in your area. Why is this useful? If you can immediately start CPR when a heart attack patient is unresponsive and use an AED, you give the patient the greatest chance of survival. During a disaster, there can be an increase in heart attacks triggered by the stress of the disaster. Download it on Android and Apple.

BONUS App: Monster Guard

Monster GuardThis is an app created by the partnership between the American Red Cross, Disney, and Dreamking to educate children about preparing for emergencies. This app gives children an interactive game to learn about concepts of emergency preparedness and different types of emergencies in a fun platform! Download it on Android and Apple.

And one more thing: Make sure you can charge your devices!

The coverage of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have highlighted how important social media and texting have been to help with rescue efforts and for communication when cell phone towers and land lines are down. So think about getting a portable cell phone charger, keep it charged, and add it to your emergency kit!

Originally posted on September 12, 2017

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I am a recent graduate from the University of Washington and my interests are in public health emergency management, climate change, and environmental health.

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