If you are in the path of Hurricane Irene, a vital part of your emergency preparedness kit is your smartphone or tablet computer. Aside from the wide variety of social media and weather related apps, get your auto and home insurance company apps loaded onto your phone or tablet so you can have their information readily available if you need to make a damage claim.
Charge up your devices now and grab an extra battery if you have time — these tech gadgets could be a lifesaver when it comes to tracking the storm or communicating with your friends and family.
Auto and Home Insurance Apps
Geico, Progressive, Allstate, USAA and State Farm are among the many insurance companies that have iPhone and Android apps available to consumers. Check the Apple App store or Android Marketplace.
If you have a Blackberry or standard mobile phone, try these mobile apps:
- GEICO: http://m.geico.com/
- State Farm: Register here for mobile web access
- Progressive: http://mobile.progressive.com/XHTML_MP
Weather Updates via iPhone & Android apps, Twitter and Facebook:
Find a list of Track Tropical Storm Irene: Social media, iPhone, smartphone weather resources
Want to access Facebook and Twitter with a pre-paid or cellphone? Even a pre-paid or basic cell phone can connect you to Twitter and Facebook with minimal effort so you can check weather updates and the status of friend and family.
- Check the Facebook help center for information on setting up the Facebook mobile app on your basic cellphone.
- Connect to your Twitter account via m.twitter.com on your mobile device. If you don’t have an account, you can set one up via SMS text messages using your cellphone. Find instructions here.
Red Cross App and Website:
The Red Cross’ Safe and Well website allows users to update their Facebook and Twitter status to let friends and family know they are safe. Access the Red Cross Safe and Well website here.
The free Red Cross iPhone app will be useful to those who need to seek shelter. The app gives the location of all open Red Cross shelters, maps the location of a shelter and shows current capacity and population. To download the app, users can visit the Apple store and search “American Red Cross shelters.”
You can also go to www.redcross.org and clicking on “Find a Shelter” if you don’t have an iPhone.
Note for Rhode Islanders: Evacuations are underway for many cities and towns and a hurricane warning has been issued for coastal RI (and Massachusetts). Read more here.
Photo Credit: Shelves are nearly out of water at a grocery store in the Rockaways as people prepare for hurricane Irene which is expected to make landfall in New York City sometime late Saturday and early Sunday on August 26, 2011 in the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)