With hurricane season currently affecting residents of South Florida, it is important for students to know that there are digital applications they can use to help navigate potentially dangerous conditions.
One app developed by the Australian New South Wales State Emergency Service called StormSafe is available to both Android and iOS devices. StormSafe, available for free, provides its users with checklists to follow for each stage of a storm. Checklists highlight tasks such as cleaning gutters or trimming tree branches prior to the storm’s arrival, among other situations and suggestions.
Storm Shield Weather Radio, available for a fee of $2.99, was developed by E.W. Scripps Company and Weather Design Technologies, Inc. and is advertised on WPTV for its range of features and comprehensive functionality.
“[It is] a weather radio that you carry around with you [and] it gives you instant warnings for your specific locations, so if there is a tornado warning, it will let you know instantaneously,” said Steve Weagle, the chief meteorologist at WPTV. “[The Storm Shield app] also talks to you; [it includes] an automated voice that will tell you the tornado warning, how long it lasts and for and which areas are impacted.”
The Storm Shield app also allows users to get custom tailored alerts based on their specific location along with an ability to share these alerts with family and friends. This is important because in situations when the power goes out, a smartphone can be a lifesaving device.
“I am a single woman, living alone, who might feel frightened and lonely except for my television set keeping me company and feeling safe at the time of the hurricane,” said Beverly Ehrentreu, a Boca senior citizen who has experienced several severe storms in South Florida. “Having my cellphone ready and waiting to continue my feeling safe if the power should go out makes me feel comfortable.”
First Aid, a free app provided by the American Red Cross, could potentially set the future for medical emergency apps. First Aid is made for those living inside a storm-prone area; it provides family and friends of the affected the ability to donate funds to help disastrous regions, helps victims themselves learn first aid for common medical concerns and gives guidance on how to prepare for upcoming emergencies.
“[The] American Red Cross’ First Aid app appears to be very well designed. The information is accurate and friendly so that patients can benefit from it,” said Guido Giunti, a medical doctor and eHealth specialist in Argentina. “The use of videos to better explain emergency maneuvers is a great addition [and the] checklists [help to] prepare for natural disasters and other situations.”
All of the applications mentioned can be found in the Android Play Store as well as Apple’s App Store. As hurricane season continues through the end of November, checking out the latest and greatest storm support apps may greatly benefit users in the long run.
Photo courtesy of NewsNet5.com.