Is Your Smartphone Prepared for Tornado Season?

TornadoWhen I was in high school, a tornado ripped through my rural community, killing a local farmer and part of his herd, twisting massive hardwoods from the earth in which they’d been deeply rooted, and prying roofs off newly constructed dwellings. The scene, upon emerging from the safety of my basement, was both surreal and spooky.

Personal belongings scattered miles from where they belonged.

Home owners in search of a place to stay.

Curious souls rummaging through the rubble.

With the electricity out, we got our updates from a battery-powered radio and from friends.

In the months that followed, life eventually returned to normal for all those families affected by the twister, but it wasn’t without considerable challenges, including identifying what was lost and estimating values.

I can’t help but think the recovery process would have been simpler, and communication much more streamlined, had this twister arrived in the Digital Age.

With smartphones rarely out of reach these days, an abundance of helpful information fits right in your hand. Here are a few planning and preparation apps you might want to load to your mobile device … especially as we enter tornado season.

Red Cross Tornado Warning and Alert App 

When a tornado’s coming, seconds matter. This Red Cross app sends real-time tornado alerts right to your phone, so you can get to safety quickly. It also provides lots of helpful tips on what to do before, during and after a storm strikes. And there’s even an interactive quiz to test your knowledge of all things twister.

Know Your Plan – Natural Disaster App

This app, from the Insurance Information Institute, provides preparation checklists for all major natural disaster types – floods, earthquakes, wind storms, etc. You can even develop your own list for an emergency unique to your area.

DreamVault Home Inventory App

Disasters, by their very nature, come with little notice. It is possible, though, to prepare for the worst. This includes keeping a record of all you own, and storing it somewhere safe. American Family’s DreamVault app enables you to go from room to room, photographing your property and adding notes about its characteristics and value.  You can even upload the receipt. And for safekeeping, all your data is stored in the cloud, where it’s safe from fires, flooding and any other disaster.

While there’s never a good time for a storm or disaster, the Digital Age has certainly made it easier for us to prepare and recover.

So what are you waiting for? Get those apps in hand!

by Paul Bauman on Tue, Mar 11 2014 10:58 am
Posted by Paul Bauman on Tue, Mar 11 2014 10:58 amPaul Bauman is a web experience administrator for American Family Insurance. When not developing content for the company’s websites, he enjoys sharing the running trail with his thoughts, which move at a much faster pace.

1 Comment

Bill Shepard said on Mar 11, 2014
This is excellent information, Paul, and very helpful to have in advance of storm season. I'm going to download these apps for sure!

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