FEMA Adds Weather Alerts Feature to Free App
"This new feature empowers individuals to assist and support family and friends before, during, and after a severe weather event," said Craig Fugate, FEMA's administrator.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency this week launched a new feature of its free app, one that allows users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation. The feature makes it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends.
"Emergency responders and disaster survivors are increasingly turning to mobile devices to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters," said Craig Fugate, FEMA's administrator. "This new feature empowers individuals to assist and support family and friends before, during, and after a severe weather event."
"Every minute counts when severe weather threatens, and mobile apps are an essential way to immediately receive the life-saving warnings provided by NOAA's National Weather Service," said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA's administrator. "These alerts are another tool in our toolbox as we work to build a 'Weather Ready Nation,' a nation that's ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather events."
FEMA cited a recent survey by Pew Research that found 40 percent of Americans have used their smartphone to look up government services or information. Most use their devices to keep up to date with breaking news.
The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters, and a Disaster Reporter" feature, where users can upload and share photos of disaster damage. Other features include:
- Safety tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after more than 20 types of hazards.
- Easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance.
- The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language.
The latest version of the app is available in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.