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DIGITAL STORM WATCH: HURRICANE SANDY

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DIGITAL STORM WATCH: HURRICANE SANDY

 

You Can Track the Storm and Stay Safe with these Apps and Tech Tips

 

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There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for Hurricane Sandy. You can stock up on the essentials (food, water, etc.), flashlights and plenty of batteries.

 

But you can also stock up on some digital necessities, including some apps for your smartphone or tablet. Below are some apps that will help you keep up to date on Sandy's whereabouts as well as some tech tips to keep in mind as the storm approaches your area.

 

Keep the phone charged

 

Before we get into the apps we recommend you download, we do recommend that in the hours leading up to the storm you charge up all your phones and tablets. Additionally, it is wise to keep them plugged in as you'll want to make sure you have a full charge if you experience a power outage. If you have any portable charging accessories, like a Mophie case for an iPhone, make sure to charge those up as well.

 

Save battery life

 

If you do experience a power outage, make sure to use your phone as sparingly as possible and save the battery for emergency phone calls and information. Turning down the screen brightness on the phone and closing any apps you run in the background will also let you conserve battery life.

 

The following apps will help you keep track of the storm.

 

Weather Channel (Free; Apple App Store and Google Play Android)

 

This is one of the best free options. The Weather Channel has full customizable weather maps, animated radar maps, detailed forecasts, alerts, and a notification bar with the current temperature and severe water alert indicators.

 

In addition, you can visit the National Hurricane Center's website at www.nhc.noaa.gov through your phone or tablet's browser to track the storm.

 

Apps for Disaster Information

 

FEMA (Free; Google Play Android, Apple App Store, BlackBerry)

 

FEMA's apps for different platforms provide weather information, but really shine when it comes to disaster preparedness information. The app contains a checklist for your emergency kit and a page on what to do during a hurricane, including tips like "take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level."

 

Hurricane American Red Cross (Free; Google Play Android, Apple App Store)

 

The official Red Cross app has information on the storm, but also information about open shelters. The app also has an "I'm Safe" alert for Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail so you can tell your friends and family you are OK.

 

You can also follow key accounts on Twitter and Facebook to track the storm, including @RedCross, @FEMA, @twc_hurricane.

 

Flashlight app

(Free Apple App Store)

 

Every emergency preparedness kit should have a flashlight — make sure the batteries are fresh and you know where to find them in your home. But for a quick backup solution, download this free Flashlight app to turn your phone’s camera flash into a solid beam of light.