Your smartphone can be one of your best resources in an emergency — with the right preparation. App developers have created a wide range of personal safety apps that can help you in a crisis.
Personal Safety apps can give you access to valuable information, secure your phone or provide easy-to-use communications for any dangerous situation.
These free personal safety apps can help keep you safe in times of trouble.
This app is a free hurricane tracker that uses NOAA data to show you the location and path of hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms.
While it’s on, you can receive alerts from the National Weather Service, keeping you abreast of any potential hurricanes or severe weather brewing in your area.
One of the best free weather apps available for Android and iOS, Today Weather can help you stay aware of major weather events near you. Configurable alerts help you keep track of dangerous weather while filtering out information that’s not relevant to you.
The Red Cross has created a series of disaster-preparedness apps that will teach you how to stay safe during an emergency. There are more than 10 apps in total — including apps on first aid, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and swim safety.
According to FEMA data, less than half of all Americans know how to respond to a disaster. Using the information in these guides could help get you ready.
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When paramedics arrive on an accident scene, they look for information about a patient’s emergency contacts or next of kin. If you’re injured, unconscious or can’t speak, however, you may not be able to provide this information.
The ICE app helps solve this problem by making it easy for first responders to access this information from your phone. When you have your phone locked, this app will create a visible notification on your lock screen.
First responders can open this notification and instantly access relevant information about you and your emergency contacts.
Disaster Alert is similar to My Hurricane Tracker but provides disaster updates on more events — like earthquakes, floods and tsunamis. The app’s customizable alerts can help keep you aware in case of an emergency.
Signal is like most other messenger apps, but with one significant difference. It will encrypt any message you send to someone else — meaning that it’s only possible to read it on the phone you send it to. This feature prevents a third party from intercepting and reading the messages, photos or videos you send.
If you’re ever in a situation where you need to quickly and securely contact someone or send information, this app is one of the best to use.
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While most phones come with pre-installed antivirus protection, these apps tend to have a somewhat limited function. Upgrading to a third-party antivirus app can help keep your phone safe from malware and other viruses.
Hacks and cyberattacks force 60% of organizations to shut down within six months of experiencing them, usually due to the expense associated with these events.
If your phone gets hacked while you have it connected to business Wi-Fi, attackers could use the device to gain access to your company’s network. Antivirus protection can help prevent this kind of emergency.
Mobile Witness is a mobile evidence recording app available for both Android and iOS. As it records, the app regularly and silently uploads gathered information — including audio, video and location data — keeping it safe if you lose access to your phone.
This app checks up on you while you’re out, sending regular text messages asking if you’re OK. If you don’t respond within a specific timeframe, Kitestring automatically sends a notification to one or more listed emergency contacts.
10) Silent Beacon
The Silent Beacon app is kind of like an emergency panic button. If a situation becomes dangerous and you need instant communication with an emergency contact, Silent Beacon will put you in touch.
You can have only one emergency contact or several. The app also allows you to send your location to your contacts with the press of a button.
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Life360 is another app that helps keep you in touch with your emergency contacts. While designed to keep families connected, Life360 is also excellent for communicating during an emergency.
With the free version, you can quickly share your location or automatically reach out to emergency dispatchers with the app’s SOS feature.
Zello is a walkie-talkie app that allows users to communicate instantly with others via a simple push-to-talk interface. Choose a channel, push and you’ll be able to talk with contacts right away.
If you’ve heard of Zello, it was likely from one of the major floods in the past few years. For example, in 2017, people in Houston, Texas, used Zello to coordinate boat rescues during the flooding that followed Hurricane Harvey.
These Apps Can Help You During an Emergency
Install these free personal safety apps ahead of time, and you can be ready for almost any crisis. Be sure to configure them before an emergency — you’ll need to set up some of these apps in advance, so you can have them at hand at a moment’s notice.