Are you prepared for hurricane season? One of the greatest storm preparation resources is actually in your pocket. We’ve scoured the internet and tested out the best apps to have during the 2018 hurricane season. Everyone knows that hurricane trackers and weather apps are obvious essentials.
Instead, we’re recommending apps we already use in our daily life that are literal lifesavers during storms and other emergency situations. The apps we are listing operate on both iPhone and Android phones, and best of all, they’re free to download.
Knowing where to find gas during a hurricane is absolutely crucial. When power outages occur, people begin scrambling for gas to run grills and generators. Gas prices will skyrocket, lines will be long and some stations may run out of gas entirely. Gas Buddy is a self-reporting app that allows users to report and confirm gas prices – and whether there’s any gas left. Avoid using precious fuel driving around from station to station by getting real-time information from members of your community.
Gas Buddy also allows user find gas stations near them (or anywhere else in the country), discover gas station amenities (like car washes, ATMs or air pumps), and compare gas station prices. An especially useful feature for boat owners is that Gas Buddy also indicates the type of gas that’s available, making it easy for boat owners to find diesel fuel for their vessels. The only thing this app doesn’t do is pump the gas itself.
Florida residents should already have the Florida Power & Light app installed due to its handy abilities to track energy usage and monthly electric bills. But when the dreaded power outages hit during a hurricane, you’ll be doubly grateful you have it on hand. Power outages leave folks sitting in the dark – in more ways than one.
One of the biggest questions during storms is “when will the power come back on?” The FPL app can answer that. An “outage” button allows FPL customers to report outages and provides updates and time estimate when power restoration begins. This is especially useful for any residents that have evacuated their homes and are unsure whether or not they’ll be returning to a dark house.
Navigating the streets post-hurricane is often hazardous. Debris, lose electric wires and fallen trees are just a few of examples of objects that can block lanes – or even entire roadways. Combine that with power outages meaning that streetlights are inoperable. Car accidents, slowdowns, and gridlock are common after hurricanes, and they make any attempts at driving frustrating.
Waze is a navigational app that relies on real-time updates made by fellow drivers. Waze reports accidents, the presence of cops, slowdowns and a bevy of other driving-related information. If you’re rushing to the marina to the view the hurricane’s aftermath, Waze provides the fastest routes while also responding to real-time user updates to suggest route changes.
No WiFi? No problem. FireChat enables smartphone users to message each other without internet access. How does this work? MeshKit technology connects phones to one another, creating an impromptu network via the phones themselves. Messages, pictures, and videos are transmittable, as well as alerts and other emergency notifications.
Other apps that are similar are The Serval Mesh, which only operates on Android, and ZombieChat, which only operates on iPhones. However, all three of these apps have a distance limit and cannot connect to others that are far away.
These are the best apps that every South Floridian should have in preparation for Miami hurricane season. Safety should always be the first and foremost priority of all residents. If you are a boat owner and your boat is damaged by a storm or other type of natural disaster, contact The Advantaged Boat & Yacht Repair Services for the best sea vessel repairs in all of South Florida. From yacht detailing to boat repair insurance policies, our team of experts can get you and your boat shipshape in no time.