App Name: Hurricane by The American Red Cross
Available Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, (requires iOS 4.2 or later), and Android
What does this app do? Millions remained without power and the death toll in New York City topped 41 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as of Friday morning, according to ABC News. Homes and businesses were wrecked as a result of the superstorm, with many people occupying shelters. Cleanup and recovery from Sandy will be slow and hard going for many. For those with power, or at least a charged mobile device, the Hurricane by American Red Cross app can help.
The app, although updated more than two months ago and, therefore, not exactly new, could not be more relevant than right now. Everything from its location-based alerts to its tips and checklists for planning for an emergency aims to prepare and assist those affected directly or indirectly by disaster.
The layout for this app is simple, with a string of informational buttons lining a row at the bottom. Tap on the "prepare" tab to peruse tips for planning ahead, such as what to put into an emergency kit or to learn about the evacuation plan for a particular community. The app will also alert you to warnings and storms based on locations you have selected and allow you to share those alerts with others through email. Select the "shelters" button to view and get directions to the open Red Cross shelters in your area.
On the upper-left-hand corner, the app displays a toolkit button. Select this icon to create a list of contacts as well as meeting points both within and outside of your neighborhood and share these with others in case of an emergency or evacuation.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, tap on the "more" button, and then select "donate." You can make a contribution to the Red Cross's efforts via e-mail, iTunes or text.
Is it easy to set up? Download this free app and go for it.
Should I try it? This is an information-rich app with a lot of useful features. The best parts of it include the ability create a plan and share this with the people you love as well as the ability to send the "I'm safe" message via Twitter, Facebook and email.