25 tech tools for emergency preparedness
Portable power station
Stay connected through power outages and on the go with a portable power station, such as the Mophie Powerstation Duo. The purse-sized device is compatible with just about any USB-enabled device and features dual outlets, so you can keep your smartphone and tablet charged in the event of emergency.
Video: Stocking your emergency kit
The American Red Cross Solarlink Radio features all seven channels of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather alerts, AM/FM radio, LED flashlight and a red flashing beacon. It can be powered either via batteries, solar or a hand-crank generator making it a versatile tool for staying alert to conditions during an emergency.
OnStar was developed with emergencies in mind (although it’s also helpful in everyday driving situations) and can help drivers prepare for and handle almost any emergency. Some of its best emergency features include automatic crash response, an emergency button that connects drivers with emergency services, and turn-by-turn navigation.
INRIX Traffic app
During natural disasters and other emergencies, you may have to navigate traffic and need to find the routes with the least amount of gridlock. The INRIX Traffic app is free on all smartphone platforms and provides up-to-the-minute traffic information. It's like having your own personal traffic reporter.
Pet owners need peace of mind, too in an emergency. The Tagg Tracker is a lightweight device that attaches to your pet’s collar.
Should pets run off or go missing during an emergency, owners can access their Tagg account through a computer or free mobile app to quickly track down their whereabouts. It’s a smart preventive measure with instant location gratification.
Two-way radios are especially important for families to have as part of an emergency preparedness kit. When phone lines, cellular signals and radios go down, you can count on a two-way radio like Motorola Talkabout MT350R Radios. These sturdy, weatherproof radios work up to 35 miles, so if you get separated from loved ones in a disaster, you can still stay connected.
In the case of a disaster, it’s important to protect your digital data – photos, files, music and movies. The cloud can be so beneficial in protecting your data, by providing backup to a safe, third-party location, and also giving people access to critical data via their mobile devices in case of a disaster. SugarSync offers users a free 5GB account to automatically backup data from all of their devices to the cloud instantly and securely.
iTriage smartphone app
iTriage is a free website and smartphone app that helps users find quick care in emergency situation. Based on symptoms, it denotes what a user could be experiencing and points them in the direction of the most appropriate care. Founded by two emergency medicine physicians, the iTriage app has been downloaded more than 8 million times.
The WeatherBug app for iPhones or Android phones features minute-by-minute, mile-by-mile lightning strike information. It's the only app that tracks and reports on all lightning -- both the strikes that hit the ground and the lightning in the clouds -- to help you stay safe. It also provides radar, severe weather alerts and localized alerts.
RadioShack recommends rotating batteries every 12 months (sooner if products are used) to ensure a fresh charge when they are needed the most.