8 Best Emergency Apps to Arm Yourself With

Published On June 11, 2014 | App & Software

Smartphone applications are all fun and games until someone gets hurt – that’s when they can become some of the greatest resources available, and not to mention life-saving. Though the future may be hard to predict, you can prepare for the unthinkable by arming yourself with these eight emergency apps.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app provides information on how to prepare for different types of disasters. It includes features such as emergency kit checklists, and locates nearby recovery centers. The accompanying blog is a surefire way for the public to stay involved before and after an incident, by keeping users informed with updates and rebuilding efforts.

2. ubAlert

Sharing is caring – this app is a global, disaster-alerting social network. With ubAlert, a combination of data from global institutions and data providers with crowd-sourced user accounts is pulled and vetted. Once the app validates the reliability of reported content, it immediately contacts anyone who may be impacted, based on the disaster’s location and severity. Friends and family can share these alerts through social media platforms.

3. ER Wait Watcher Finder

Waiting in the ER makes going to the emergency room worse than it already is. With ProPublica’s ER Wait Watcher Finder app, you can plug in a zip code or use your current location to pull up a map of nearby emergency rooms. The app conveniently calculates the duration of each ER trip listed by adding the estimated travel and wait time.

4. Disaster Alert

This app globally monitors and provides early warning for “Active Hazards” that are potentially dangerous to people, property and assets. Monitored hazards include hurricanes, tropical cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, floods, storms, wildfires and high surf. Information and reports about these types of hazards can be viewed and shared via Disaster Alert.

5. Scanner Radio

Scanner Radio gives you the means to sniff out the situation so you can be lead detective. The app plays live, unfiltered audio from more than 4,700 police and fire scanners, weather broadcasts, and radio reports collected across the globe. It’s news in the making, and yours to interpret.

6. wikiHow

Not just for looking up how to make paper mâché or a slow-cooked turkey chili, the wikiHow app is also handy to have in a crisis. Use it to find out helpful tips, such as how to prep for a natural disaster, save a choking victim, perform CPR, get through the night in the woods, and even what to do when a bear attacks.

7. RepairPal: Auto Repair Expert

If your car breaks down in the middle of the highway during a raging winter storm, you may find yourself hard-strapped for options. Thankfully there’s RepairPal. The app is a 24/7 service for auto-related accidents and issues, big and small. Perks include helping the distressed driver find a well-rated mechanic nearby, tracking repairs and one-touch access to roadside assistance.

8. First Aid by American Red Cross

The official American Red Cross app is basically a virtual first-aid kit. It contains a variety of informative videos, interactive quizzes and step-by-step advice for emergency scenarios. Content is preloaded which means help is always in your reach, regardless of shoddy reception or Wi-Fi.

Now that you know which tools to arm yourself with in case of emergency, what are you waiting for? It pays to be proactive. So go on, download the best emergency apps out there and you just might become a hero that saves the day.

– By Jessica Oaks



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