Hurricane Tips: Helpful Apps and Smartphone Tips
Charge those phones and tablets – you’re going to need them! Here are some helpful apps and tips to help you through the storm.
These apps will help you connect with friends and family and emergency resources:
- Facebook Safety Check: You can mark yourself safe on this Facebook app to let family and friends know you are OK. You can also check on your family and friends.
- Gas Buddy: See who has gas and the lowest prices.
- ICE Standard: The ICE Medical App lets you put your emergency medical contact Information on a smartphone.
- Life360: If you are evacuating, this app can let family and friends know where you are. Life360 will track your movements and automatically send texts to those you chose to share that information with.
- Nextdoor: Nextdoor connects you with people in your neighborhood so you can check on your neighbors and get updates from those in surrounding areas.
- Ready NC App – Stay up to date on weather conditions, traffic conditions, shelters, evacuations, and more.
- Red Cross Apps: There are several apps hosted by the Red Cross including first aid apps for humans and pets. A Red Cross app also downloads information to your phone so you can access it even when cellphone towers are down.
- Zello: Zello can convert your phone into a sort of walkie-talkie or two-way radio. You must have a WiFi connection to use it. You can instantly send voice messages or photos.
- For Android users, additional hurricane apps are available from a collection at the Google Play store.
- Create a texting phone tree – it may be easier to get information to your contacts via text after the storm hits
- Turn on emergency alerts – access to TV and radio may be limited during the storm. Turn on emergency alerts to increase your chances of staying informed
- Clear storage on your phone – Delete unnecessary photos, texts and other items that may take up your storage so your phone. You want to have plenty of space available if you need to take photos for insurance purposes
- Save emergency numbers in advance so you don’t need to spend time searching for the contacts you need. (Like power companies in the case of outages)
Tips to Increase Cell Phone Battery Life
Here are a few tips that can help extend your battery life if the power goes out:
- Dim the screen brightness or use auto brightness – That bright display is your battery’s biggest enemy. Lower your screen brightness to the lowest setting you can tolerate. It will extend the life of your battery dramatically.
- Adjust the screen timeout – Adjust your ‘Screen Timeout,’ ‘Sleep,’ or ‘Auto-Lock’ setting to be 30 seconds or less. This adjusts how long your screen stays lit after you use it, get a notification, etc. The less the screen is on, the more battery life you’ll get.
- Turn off Bluetooth – Turning off Bluetooth can add an hour or more to your phone’s battery life
- Turn off Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi is a battery drainer when you are out of range of a Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi is down, or you are out of range, turn off this setting to increase the battery life
- Turn off location services – Location services, GPS and background refresh can all drain your battery. Head to the settings to turn these off on an app by app basis, or as a whole.