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5 Great Apps for Receiving Timely Storm Warnings

As those who live in areas close to the coastline tend to be keenly aware, sometimes rough (and even dangerous) weather can sneak up quickly and without warning. But by keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, residents can be better prepared for the worst. And with the right storm-warning applications installed on their smartphones, users can have this vital, safety-related information at their fingertips or within easy reach at all times — even during the overnight hours when most people are sleeping.

For an extra level of warning and added time to prepare for inclement weather, consider these five smartphone apps that let users know in advance when worrisome weather is on the way:

  1. Emergency by the American Red Cross: Created to help keep families safe when severe weather and manmade/natural disasters strike, this app from the American Red Cross provides real-time alerts when dangers such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes, extreme heat, and wildfires threaten. Users can customize the alerts and push notifications they receive based on the areas they choose to monitor, allowing them to keep an eye on severe conditions near their home and the homes of loved ones. Other helpful features include a toolkit with an audible alarm, a flashlight, and a strobe light; maps providing information on approaching weather and nearby shelters; and step-by-step guidance for creating a family emergency plan.
    Free downloads available for iOS and Android users.
  2. NOAA Weather Radar Live: Featuring real-time weather radar maps, severe-weather warnings and short- and long-term weather forecasts, this app puts a simple-to-use weather tracker in users’ pockets. The NOAA Weather Radar Live app depicts watches, warnings, and other weather alerts from the National Weather Service in shaded areas on the user’s interactive map, and when these areas are log-tapped, users can read additional details on the alert in question. To ensure that severe weather does not catch users off guard, push notifications can be set up and customized to deliver alerts about tornadoes, potential flooding, and other need-to-know weather information for saved locations.
    This app is available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
  3. AccuWeather: Offering reliable and in-depth weather forecasts, the latest weather updates and even minute-by-minute breakdowns of weather forecasts for the coming two hours, AccuWeather helps users stay one step ahead of the weather in their own area, as well as in any location they choose worldwide. The app can also take users beyond the simple local forecast with details on environmental variables like UV index, visibility, precipitation, dew point, allergens, and air quality index, just to name a few. To keep users in the know on coming severe weather, the app can also provide severe-weather warnings, along with alerts and detailed reports on any sudden changes in weather conditions.
    Free downloads are available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
  4. Storm Shield: By providing severe-weather alerts for the users’ exact locations (rather than the entire county, which is the norm), the Storm Shield app reduces false alarms. And by delivering its alerts via voice and push notifications, the app makes it hard for users to miss the warnings when severe weather is nearby. (Apple Watch users can even get a wrist tap when alerts are issued for their location.) The hazards for which Storm Shield provides alerts include thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, winter storms and other life-threatening weather events, and to keep users abreast of current conditions, the app’s home screen features a high-definition radar map.
    Free downloads of the Storm Shield app are available for iOS and Android users.
  5. FEMA: Made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the easy-to-use FEMA App provides real-time notifications to users about severe weather, natural disasters, and other emergencies in up to five user-selected locations throughout the United States. Further, the app offers users expert guidance regarding what to do before, during and after a range of disaster situations, including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, snowstorms, and volcanic eruptions. And when help is needed during and in the wake of an emergency, the FEMA App offers users location assistance for finding emergency shelters and disaster recovery centers.
    This app is available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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