As you're prepping for a hurricane or storm, don't forget about your smartphone.
Your phone can be a vital resource for getting the information you need and helping you stay in touch with people if the power goes out.
Here are some helpful apps that work on phones or tablets, plus some tips to help save your battery:
- Red Cross Hurricane App: free; sends alerts from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); includes a flashlight, alarm and strobe light; for Apple and Android devices. The Red Cross also offers first aid apps for people and pets.
- Zello: free; push-to-talk app, works like a walkie-talkie; needs Wi-Fi or data to operate; for Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and PCs.
- AccuWeather: free; gives forecasts, radar and video; for Apple and Android devices.
- NOAA Radar US: free; provides real-time radar images; gives National Weather Service alerts.
Of course, none of these apps are useful if your phone is dead. Here are some ways to conserve your battery life:
- Close any apps you aren't using
- Put your phone in low power mode
- Adjust your screen brightness to a dimmer setting
- Use Wi-Fi when you can instead of data
- Turn off bluetooth if you're not using it
- Turn off location services if you're not using it