Helpful Technology During Flooding
The tragic floods from 2000, 2008 and 2016 have shown that early detection of floods reduces financial losses and the loss of life and property. Some communities, having learned the hard lessons in the past, have been able to prepare citizens and businesses by creating flood disaster plans. Leaders credit these plans and group efforts on the part of citizens to prepare for flooding.
Floods have ravaged several areas around the country, like the recent ones in Louisiana, causing record damages to homes and businesses. Even though weather outlets and government agencies are diligent in getting the word out to citizens in affected areas as quickly as possible, there is still a demand for faster information.
To accomplish this, a number of applications have been developed for mobile devices to track floods and severe weather. Many were made with the backing of government agencies, non-profit agencies, individuals and insurance companies. Most of these apps are available for free, though some are available for a small subscription fee.
Below is a list of current flood-watch applications:
Know Your Plan – This app is available for the iPhone. You can find it by searching for the Insurance Information Institute under apps. This app is for users to prepare for a number of natural disasters including flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme conditions.
American Red Cross – The American Red Cross has always been at the forefront of helping those who have been affected by disasters both natural and man-made. The a complete listing of the apps that the agency has made available a number of applications that are specific to a user’s needs can be found on its webpage and are also downloadable at either the iTunes Store or through Google Play.
Disaster Alert – Created by the Pacific Disaster Center, Disaster Alert is available on the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad as a free download. It gives multi-hazard warnings of active hazards as well as reports and warnings for natural disasters such as flooding. This information can be shared with others. This app is also available for Android and Android compatible devices.
Flood Map – The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has created an app using a user’s current location in conjunction with floodplains. Many homeowners in flood-prone areas don’t know that flood damage is not covered under their homeowner’s insurance, so the app also offers information and estimates for flood insurance in addition to helping users to be prepared and protect life and property. FloodMap is available for Apple devices on iTunes and Android devices at the Google Play store.
The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel that many have come to rely upon via their cable television provider now offers apps for nearly every type of device such as Android, Apple and even Windows OS’s. Also available are apps for storm apps for Android and Apple devices to track storms in real time.
ubAlert —ubAlert was created by the Disaster Alert Network as a global disaster preparedness tool. The ubAlert app gives users all over the world the information that they need during a disaster including details such as affected areas, statistics, maps, images, videos and more. Information can be shared with friends and family, employees and coworkers by using an email. ubAlert is available for Android devices and Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad.
Preparis – A subscription-based service that has been created specifically for businesses as a means to help them to prepare their organizations and their workers. Preparis helps companies develop plans, gives advice, and provides training in over 250 cities worldwide. Apps are available through subscription at the website.