There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for Hurricane Sandy. You can stock up on the essentials (food, water, etc.), flashlights and plenty of batteries.
But you can also stock up on some digital necessities, including some apps for your smartphone or tablet.
Below are some apps that will help you keep up to date on Sandy's whereabouts as well as some tech tips to keep in mind as the storm approaches your area.
Keep the phone charged
Before we get into the apps we recommend you download, we do recommend that in the hours leading up to the storm you charge up all your phones and tablets. Additionally, it is wise to keep them plugged in as you'll want to make sure you have a full charge if you experience a power outage. If you have any portable charging accessories, like a Mophie case for an iPhone, make sure to charge those up as well.
Save battery life
If you do experience a power outage, make sure to use your phone as sparingly as possible and save the battery for emergency phone calls and information. Turning down the screen brightness on the phone and closing any apps you run in the background will also let you conserve battery life.
Apps for tracking the storm
The following apps will help you keep track of the storm.
Weather Channel (Free; Apple App Store and Google Play Android)
This is one of the best free options. The Weather Channel has full customizable weather maps, animated radar maps, detailed forecasts, alerts, and a notification bar with the current temperature and severe water alert indicators.
Hurricane HD (Apple App Store; $2.99)
This one is going to cost more, but has richer graphics and detail. The app for the iPhone and iPad lets you track the storm with a moving radar and satellite imagery from the National Hurricane Center. It also provides a news and video feed to keep up to date. If you're up for some history, there is a Historic Storm Library with a calendar view of past storms with details and a map view that lets you follow the path of past storms.
Dark Sky ($3.99; Apple App Store)
For a dollar more than Hurricane HD, you get an even better looking app that is focused on giving you a timeline of the weather forecast. The app is full of animations, but shines in giving you minute by minute information about the storm. Drag your finger on the timeline on the bottom of the app and it will show you forecast details but it also will show you the storm's whereabouts on the map.
National Hurricane Center website
In addition to all of those, you can visit the National Hurricane Center's website at www.nhc.noaa.gov through your phone or tablet's browser to track the storm.
Apps for Disaster Information
FEMA (Free; Google Play Android, Apple App Store, BlackBerry)
FEMA's apps for different platforms provide weather information, but really shine when it comes to disaster preparedness information. The app contains a checklist for your emergency kit and a page on what to do during a hurricane, including tips like "take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level."
- Hurricane American Red Cross (Free; Google Play Android, Apple App Store)
The official Red Cross app has information on the storm, but also information about open shelters. The app also has an "I'm Safe" alert for Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail so you can tell your friends and family you are OK.