Check out important apps as Hurricane Dorian approaches

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As Hurricane Dorian moves toward Florida, 8 On Your Side is showing you which apps to download to stay up to date with weather, FEMA plans, evacuations and more.

Along with preparing your home, your family and your refrigerator, it’s also important to prepare your electronic device.

According to a 2018 peer-reviewed study on cell phone usage during natural disasters, “increase in cell phone usage reduces disaster fatalities by nearly one half. “

Using data on natural disaster fatalities all over the world between 1980 and 2013, the study found that cell phones, as opposed to internet access, is the technology that helped to save lives during crises.

“Cell phones can help to reduce fatalities via two routes: First, they facilitate the dissemination of warning information that helps people to take protective measures during crises. Second, they facilitate the coordination of recovery efforts in the midst and aftermath of disaster events.”

Cell phones reduced the number of fatalities in weather-related disasters by 47 percent on average. For geological events, that number increases to 69 percent.

Here are a few tips to make sure you’re being as efficient as possible with a phone battery and preparing in the event of an evacuation:

  • Keep your device charged– In the event of a power outage, which could happen any time, having the most charge possible could make all the difference in the event of an emergency.
  • Conserve battery– Turn off WiFi if you’re away from a WiFi network. Stay away from using power-hungry apps unless necessary.
  • Pack a power strip– If you and your family have to seek shelter, and public outlets are crowded, a power strip could save time without having to wait on others to charge your device.
  • Download maps– Google Maps has an offline mode where users can download maps around their location. If you’ve evacuated, having a map downloaded can help you find your way around, without using too much phone battery.
  • Pre-download useful apps- Receiving important information can help you and your family stay informed as Dorian approaches. Stay informed with the apps below:
Where we air
Hurrcane Apps
Max Defender 8: Whether you live in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Clearwater, Lakeland or New Port Richey, Max Defender 8 will keep you informed about how Hurricane Dorian will affect Tampa Bay.
WFLA app: Stay up-to-date with everything hurricane-related. From sandbag locations to shelters and total hurricane coverage, 8 On Your Side has the information right on our app.
Gasbuddy: Crowdsourcing app where people enter the prices they see at stations. GasBuddylists the gas stations in your area, letting you find the one with the lowest price. Should certain stations run out of gas in an emergency situation, this app will keep you informed.
FEMA: The FEMA App provides alerts and useful information to help you before, during and after disasters. This app helps locate Disaster Recovery Centers near you where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person.
Ready Pinellas: For Pinellas County residents, this app provides checklists, preparedness assistance, and information in severe weather.
MyPasco: Pasco residents can sign up for emergency alerts and receive vital updates when severe weather the community. County resources are available through this app.

Max Defender 8: Whether you live in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Clearwater, Lakeland or New Port Richey, Max Defender 8 will keep you informed about how Hurricane Dorian will affect Tampa Bay.

WFLA app:  Stay up-to-date with everything hurricane-related. From sandbag locations to shelters and total hurricane coverage, 8 On Your Side has the information right on our app.

Gasbuddy: Crowdsourcing app where people enter the prices they see at stations. GasBuddylists the gas stations in your area, letting you find the one with the lowest price. Should certain stations run out of gas in an emergency situation, this app will keep you informed.

FEMA: The FEMA App provides alerts and useful information to help you before, during and after disasters. This app helps locate Disaster Recovery Centers near you where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person

Ready Pinellas: For Pinellas County residents, this app provides checklists, preparedness assistance, and information in severe weather.

MyPasco: Pasco residents can sign up for emergency alerts and receive vital updates when severe weather the community. County resources are available through this app.

HCFL Alert: Hillsborough County’s official mass notification system, HCFL Alert is designed to keep you informed about emergency events in Hillsborough County. While this isn’t an app, residents can register online at (813) 272-6602.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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