You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that not all emergency situations will require you to fend for yourself for many days on end. Some might pass quickly, especially if you are able to resolve them independently. The more knowledge you have on your side, the more likely you are to solve your own problems. We’ve put together a collection of useful phone apps for disasters, the most important of which focus on finding help and giving medical aid. We’ve also thrown in a few extras in case you’re looking further down the line… at the possibility of going off the beaten path in search of survival.
Our hands-down favorite for disaster preparedness is the collection of apps the American Red Cross has made available for free, which cover emergency resources, customized weather alerts, disaster guides, first aid, pet first aid, and even swim safety. If you’ve also invited the Amazon spy into your home, indulge in their Alexa-ready tools! Technology is here to save us.
Another amazing resource if you find yourself leading a medical emergency! This app, developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine, gives you in-depth resources to help you make an educated guess, if you are truly unable to connect with a qualified healthcare provider in a time of urgent need. To clarify, we’re not encouraging you to perform an appendectomy. These are just tools for emergencies.
3. Outdoor Survival Guide (Android) & SAS Survival Guide (iPhone)
Are you ready to live in the woods? Maybe you just want to know how to tie a knot. Either way, these apps could help you out in a pinch! Zombies beware. We have smartphones and we know how to use them.
Bonus: Check out the SAS Urban Survival app to be ready for anything in a city.
This is it. You’re resorting to eating berries. Better make sure they’re not poisonous! This app is the most likely on the list to be found on a normal (read: not-disaster-prepared) person’s phone, but also leans heavily into the off-grid prepper mentality. Lots of people want to know the names of the plants that surround them; not everyone is trying to learn about their edibility. If you’re looking for more prepper street cred, Wild Edibles (Android) is explicitly geared toward finding food that you might not immediately assume is food.
Proceed with caution!
Remember, if you want to use apps while you’re experiencing a disaster, keep in mind your battery level. The most important thing your phone can do during a crisis is keep you in touch with others, so ration your power accordingly!