There is no way to know what will happen when a storm makes landfall. And while you can’t prevent a storm, the sooner you know it is happening the more time you have to prepare. Instead of waiting to hear weather alerts on television or the radio, there are smartphone apps that offer push notifications when a storm is on its way, offer tips to prepare and resources after the storm clears. Here is a list of our favorite weather alert apps to help guide your way forward before, during and after a storm.
American Red Cross– American Red Cross offers specialized apps on different severe weather so that you can personalize your alerts for your area. All the apps show Red Cross shelters, have a toolkit that includes a flashlight, strobe light, and audible alert functions, quizzes on each disaster type, instructions (even if there is no data connectivity), and they are all available in both English and Spanish and available on both the Google Play store and the Apple App store. One of the best features is the Family Safe feature that lets you to connect with friends and family through the app and mark yourself as “safe” or “not safe” during severe weather. The best part? They’re all free! Learn more at www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
- Emergency- Emergency app has a Family Safe feature that tracks weather and hazards not only effecting you, but those that are also effecting your friends and family as well. There is a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light, and audible alarm. This app also shows you different emergency scenarios and what to do before, during and after.
- Tornado- Tornado app allows you to receive alerts for tornado watches and warnings. This app will not only alert you about approaching danger, but will also give you an “all clear” alert when the watch or warning expires. With the Family Safe feature, keep an eye on friends and family living in tornado prone areas.
- Hurricane- Hurricane app is perfect for those living in hurricane prone areas or those who have loved ones living in those areas. Get alerts and updates for approaching storms and monitor the effects from the storm like flooding and tornadoes.
- Wildfire- The Wildfire app gives you click-to-call access to your state’s 511 network for traffic updates in the event there was an evacuation and a wildfire news sections that pulls alerts from all fire-fighting agencies in your state.
- Flood- You can customize the alerts you receive and remove an alert once you’ve seen it. It helps keep you updated on any flooding and gives tips on what to do before, during and after a flood.
Local Weather Channel App- Check to see if your local weather channel has their own app. This can keep you updated on all local weather and any other events that could affect your day.
FEMA– FEMA’s app covers everything on the severe weather checklist: alerts, safety tips, supply checklists, open shelters and driving directions to the shelters, and where to talk to FEMA whether it be in-person or on the phone. They also have a feature that allows you to upload your own pictures after a disaster to help first responders and keep your community safe. They cover alerts and tips for over 20 types of hazards, including hurricanes, tornados, floods, and earthquakes. Learn more at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
The Weather Channel- The weather channel offers different apps for all your devices ranging from Apple watches, smart TVs, and smartphones. You can assure you’ll always have the best and most accurate alerts for each platform. The Weather Channel app lets you share weather updates including daily and weekly weather, severe weather alerts, and radar images with friends through text messages and social media. It’s also customizable in over 20 languages. Available on iTunes, Google Play, App World and Windows phone at www.weather.com/apps.
Weather Underground – This app is perfect for the weather geek. It allows you to customize your experience with light and dark modes, map types, and units. Receive feed from all around the world in real time on webcams. Receive alerts on your local severe weather, UV risk, and local flu outbreaks. Learn more at https://www.wunderground.com/download.
Storm Radar– This app has advanced storm cell tracking technology. Its interactive map allows you to keep an eye on all bad weather both local and around the world. This app also allows you to track lightning within 100 miles of your local area (U.S. only) so you’ll never get caught out in a storm. Learn more at https://www.wunderground.com/download.