By Stephen Schenck | August 26, 2011 2:55 PM
The east coast of the United States normally gets off pretty lightly when it comes to being walloped by natural disasters, but this week is really shaping up to be one that throws its residents for a loop. Earlier this week saw the rare occurrence of an earthquake that could be felt many states away, and now people are stocking up provisions for what may be a powerful hurricane about to hit. Just in the nick of time, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency has a Android app to release, ready to help you prepare for the worst.
The app will help you locate nearby shelters, should you need to take refuge, and provides tools for getting ready for emergencies in advance. Those include checklists to make sure you have all the gear you’ll need (we suggest wireless battery chargers for smartphones). There’s also some general preparedness tips, and it will keep you up-to-the-minute on disaster news by showing recent FEMA blog posts.
Versions of the app for BlackBerry and the iPhone are on the way, but will arrive post-hurricane. If you’ve only got a dumbphone, you can still get FEMA updates via text, and just in case cell service goes down altogether, the app tries to keep as much of its data stored locally as possible, so it should still be quite usable even with no signal.