Prepare for an Emergency with These Apps

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As emergency situations can occur at any given time from natural disasters to man-made devastation, millions around the world have to be alert and ready to adapt to changing conditions. Basic services such as water, heating, and emergency response may not be immediately available in these circumstance and so the mobile phone is a highly versatile tool that can be used to ensure safety and comfort. With this notion, this article discusses the apps that should be kept on the phone at all times for emergency situations.


As an app that has rapidly grown in the last year due to the hurricanes that have devastated Florida and the Caribbean, Zello lets users communicate with one another even when traditional landlines are down. Requiring only an internet connection either via WiFi or a mobile network, users are able to get in touch with those in the local area while emergency services can more easily reach those who are in the community or others in need of help. Extremely simply to use, the interface is designed to appear like a radio where a single button is clicked in order to relay a message. Given the option to communicate with specific networks or a single person, Zello is a suitable substitute for dedicated radios which are typically expensive and bulky. One of the best features of the app is that even for those who are disconnected from the internet for a temporary period of time, the messages that are received can be listened to once an internet connection is re-established so that no important messages are lost.

Find My Family, Friends, Phone (iOS/Android)

In any emergency, knowing the status and location of family members and loved ones can bring peace of mind and ensure the safety of everyone. As an app that leverages the GPS capabilities of the phone, users are able to see exactly where others who are on the same group are and also chat with them. Through the notifications that are possible with Find My Family, Friends, Phone, the log of user details can be sent and received in real time at particular locations such as schools, work, or at home for instant information. Without having to call or text each individual of interest, the app aggregates all of the people so that it is in a single screen interface that tracks all of the individuals simultaneously which is perfect for emergency situations. A feature that is applicable even in situations that are not emergencies are when the phone is lost at which point the app can be used to locate either its last known location or where it currently is if the GPS is still enabled.

5-0 Radio Police Scanner (iOS/Android)

One of the fastest sources of information is between those in emergency services who have the information in real time and even before other news sources. For this reason, the 5-0 Radio Police Scanner is one of the best sources of information in emergency situations which gives users access to local police, fire, and medical authorities who are typically first responders in most emergencies. Without filter or delay, the information that is heard through 5-0 Radio Police Scanner can be relied on to make crucial decisions that have the potential to save lives. Given the range of radio stations that the app has access to such as radio stations and emergency departments around the world, the app is a must-have for emergency situations where receiving up-to-the-minute news is crucial for decision making and understanding the full scope relevant events.

First Aid – Canadian Red Cross (iOS/Android)

As injuries often occur during emergencies, many people are not equipped to administer first aid although this should be a basic skill that everyone has. To close the gap between first aid skills and what needs to be done in crucial moments of injury, the First Aid app by the Canadian Red Cross is a detailed guide that describes the steps that needs to be taken for nearly all basic injuries. From bleeding to CPR, the app breaks down many injuries into causes, medication, symptoms, and treatment with images, diagrams, descriptions, and videos so that those who are watching can get a full grasp of all aspects of the situation. Without the need for formal medical training or certifications, those who have the First Aid app are able to administer basic help in emergencies which can mean the difference between life and death for many.

Know Your Plan (iOS/Android)

One of the best measures to ensure preparedness prior to an emergency is setting up a detailed plan along with accumulating supplies that would be crucial to help last through an emergency. For this reason, Know Your Plan is an app that encourages users to act proactively instead of reactively to emergencies. Examples of this include helping users establish a checklist of supplies that should be purchased as well as a creating a thorough action plan in case an emergency occurs. In preparing for disasters before they occur, users of the app can feel more confident in their ability to remain safe while those who are underprepared may lack basic resources for survival. With checklists that are preloaded for various situations such as earthquakes or hurricanes, the process of preparation is made extremely easy for those who are unfamiliar with what needs to be stored. Given the importance of ensuring preparedness prior to an emergency taking place, Know Your Plan should be used even before an emergency is taking place.

As the unpredictable nature of emergency situations is something that will continue with increased pollution and political instability, it is extremely important to be prepared for various situations now than ever before. As a result, it is highly recommended that the apps in this article be downloaded and stored on every mobile device so that if a disaster does occur, users have the resources to communicate, get information, and track the location of loved ones from their mobile phones.

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