Apps to help you weather a hurricane

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By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour

If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, the best safety equipment you can have is your RV. Get out of the area!

Hurricane Apps

Smartphones can be invaluable in a hurricane. First of all, of course, is a hurricane tracker. We recommend Max Tracker because it comes from a local TV station in Miami. The “forecast cone” is what we rely on when deciding where to run. We also check the radar using The Weather Channel. If you don’t know how to take screenshots from your phone, like mine below, here’s a Quick Tip on Taking Screenshots. They’re great for the blog post later!

Charging your Phone

Your phone won’t do you any good if it’s dead! Make sure you have a good battery/travel charger. We really like the HooToo because it does so much more than just charge. See How to use a USB drive with a smartphone or tablet. The HooToo is a 10,400 mAh (mili-Amp-Hours) battery. That will fully charge your phone roughly 3 times. If all you want is a battery, then we recommend the Anker 20,000 mAh. These are about $45 – $50 – just search Amazon or your favorite tech store for HooToo or Anker. As a bonus, these could also power something like a USB Fan! [Editor: Here are HooToo and Anker on Amazon.com.]

Google Maps

And then there’s Google Maps! We used two special features of Maps a lot during the last hurricane:

Facebook

During a hurricane, the app that I found invaluable for staying in touch with friends and family, letting them know how we were, and finding out how they were – is Facebook. With just one post on Facebook, we can let everyone know where we are and how we’re doing. Since most of our real friends are on Facebook as well, we know the same about them. During natural disasters, Facebook turns on a feature called SafetyCheck, which gives us all a place to check in and report our status. But more than that, I relied on Facebook for eyewitness reports. Information from Apps is great, but it’s information like this from people we know that really tells us what’s going on:

If you are affected by the recent hurricane, first of all, stay safe. Then, we’d love to hear about any ways that your smartphone helps you. Leave a comment below.


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years. 

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