We've rounded up 15 16 of the best iPhone and iPad apps that will interest crisis management and disaster response professionals. Many will also be of interest to the average user.
These are practical apps that you might find useful as you do your job. This list does not include apps that are solely focused on personal preparedness or general weather apps such as AccuWeather.
Most apps are free, and some are available in paid and free versions. The geographic scope of the app—global or USA—is listed next to the name. Most links will take you to the app’s page in the iTunes app store.
Are there other good apps that should be on this list? If so, leave a comment.
1. Disaster Alert (Global)
Disaster Alert keeps users aware of hazardous incidents anywhere in the world. With both listings and an interactive real-time map, this app will keep you alerted to all types of natural disasters as well as breaking man-made crises while you’re on the go. Free.
2. Disaster Radar (Global)
According to its makers, this is the first and only real-time world-wide natural disaster and emergency monitoring app. Disasters can be viewed on a world map or selected individually to see complete event details including cause and areas affected. Free.
3. NIMS ICS Guide (USA)
This was the first NIMS/ICS pocket reference for first responders, and today it is used by more than 150,000 public safety and health professionals. This app allows users to customize contact lists for individual incidents, provides detailed emergency checklists, and includes resources for both training and in-field action. $14.99.
4. NFPA 2010 (USA)
The NFPA app provides a fully searchable version of what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared as the National Preparedness Standard. The app includes comprehensive information on disaster/emergency management, as well as business continuity planning. $4.99.
5. Hurricane Tracker (USA)
This app was reviewed by CNN as the best Hurricane Tracking app available for the iPhone. This app includes LIVE video briefings on hurricanes, real time condition updates, push alerts, dozens of maps, and minute by minute updates. With access to the NOAA weather radio and over 65 animated apps, this map could be the most comprehensive mobile hurricane resource out there. $2.99.
6. Hurricane Express (Global)
Hurricane Express is focused on bringing users data on storms in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern and Central Pacific. Push alerts, detailed forecasts, video updates, animated satellite maps and storm info straight from the National Hurricane Center keep users safe and alert. 99 cents.
7. EarShot (Global)
The EarShot system combines a unique mobile app, online control center and emergency notification system in one integrated application. The EarShot app sends and receives messages consisting of unlimited text, completed forms, photos, documents and GPS location. It's used for gathering eyewitness reports from the scene of a crisis, submitting field service reports, security check-ins, and much more. Contact the company for system pricing.
8. Situation Center Mobile (Global)
The Situation Center is MissionMode's web-based incident management system. This mobile app puts the power of the Situation Center in the palm of your hand. Share information, manage tasks, monitor team status, access documents and other files, and more. No other app provides these capabilities. Contact the company for system pricing.
9. FloodWatch (USA)
Using data from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Weather Service, displays both recent and historical river heights, precipitation totals and flood stage info. The app’s graphs, maps, and listings will assist users when rivers threaten to overflow their banks. Free.
10. Shelter View (USA)
This app from the Red Cross focuses on getting people in need to shelters when disaster strikes. It draws on the Red Cross’ National Shelter System for details on 60,000 potential disaster facilities along with easy access to the Disaster Online Newsroom. Free.
11. Emergency Radio (USA)
This radio scanner app works with thousands of frequencies and has an extensive database of live broadcasts—police, fire, EMS, railroad, air traffic, train, NOAA weather, coast guard, HAM radio, and others. 99 cents.
12. FEMA (USA)
This is the official app of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It contains preparedness information for all types of disasters including emergency kit checklists, details on how to stay safe, maps to assistance, even a section to plan meeting locations. Free.
13. Outbreaks Near Me (USA)
HealthMap’s Outbreaks Near Me app tracks real-time disease outbreaks and gives users access to reports, as well as the ability to submit their own. If you spy an outbreak and report it using the app you will be featured as a disease detective on the HealthMap website. Free.
14. First Aid – The Red Cross (Global)
The Red Cross has provided yet another tool that’s filled with advice, instructions and videos covering everything from everyday emergencies to major injuries, it’s a complete first aid resource on your iDevice. Free.
15. RadarScope (USA)
RadarScope is a real storm hunter’s tool. Specialized to display NEXRAD Level 3 and super-high resolution radar data and supplying a host of detailed information including reflectivity, velocity, and more, RadarScope gives you real live data from 155 different radar sites right in your hand. $9.99.
16. WISER (USA)
When hazardous substances are involved, delays can place lives in danger. Aimed at first responders and HAZMAT units, , Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders is designed to assist with identification of hazardous substances, provide guidance on removal or disposal, and place crisis maps at user’s fingertips. Free.
Are there additional apps that should be added to this list? Let us know by adding a comment.