Mobile phones are useful everyday tools. In emergencies, they can be life saving. Here is a brief list of some of the most useful mobile applications (all available on IOS and Android, and some as noted on Blackberry) for use before and during an earthquake and other disaster events.
The American Red Cross has many different applications in addition to earthquake notification, which also helps you connect with loved ones and let others know you are safe. These include apps for pet first aid, hurricane monitoring, tornado alerts, flood preparedness, general emergencies, first aid, and blood donation. All of the disaster apps contain instructions on preparedness, including food, water, and other supplies.
The FEMA App has preparedness information on a range of topics and includes weather alerts, shelter locations, the ability to upload photos, and more. It is also available on BlackBerry devices.
WISER is a system from the National Library of Medicine at NIH designed to assist emergency responders dealing with hazardous materials. WISER has information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, and human health information. Designed for first responders, it is valuable during a disaster when help may be days away. It is also available on BlackBerry devices.
Last is ICE, which stands for “In Case of Emergency,” from the About the Kids Foundation. Described as “The World’s #1 Emergency Medical Contact Information Application,” it is a digital emergency care card that lists your medical and contact information, and more. ICE is only available on IOS or Android devices, but is really useful, especially for children or elderly who might not remember all of their medical information in an emergency.
There are numerous earthquake-tracking applications as well. Just go to your respective app store and search for “earthquake”; most are free.