In a widespread disaster, we might not be able to rely on our phones, but most of the time they are reliable and our go-to source of information if something unusual is happening. There are now a plethora of informational apps to track news and weather, and everyone has their favorite social media source. Here are a four other apps that you might not have heard of, but are really useful during emergency events.
Bloomington is one of several towns that partners with PulsePoint. Pulsepoint is an app that will alert you if someone nearby requires CPR, but what is less known is that it also lists current fire department and EMS runs throughout the whole of Monroe County. It will even alert you if there are certain kinds of incident such as a road traffic accident or structure fire, so you can avoid the area.
The bad news is that RadarScope costs $10, but the good news is it is an absolutely invaluable radar app for when severe weather is coming through. The high resolution radar images also show precisely where current warnings are, and you can layer on storm tracks and reports from storm spotters.
Zello is a walkie-talkie app that can be used to help coordinate with family and friends during or after an emergency. It has even been used to connect people in need with volunteer rescuers in major disasters. It is low bandwidth, and so it can still work even with a poor cellphone data connection (although some kind of internet connectivity is required for it to work).
The FEMA App from the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides real-time alerts for local weather events, would provide the location of shelters in a disaster situation, and additionally provides tips on what to do when an event is occurring.