The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week launched a new feature to its app that allows users to receive severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to 5 areas though out the US.
The feature will be especially helpful for truck drivers as they travel along their route, plus they can set one location to their home, so they can keep an eye on emergency weather there as well.
“Emergency responders and disaster survivors are increasingly turning to mobile devices to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters,” said Craig Fugate, FEMA 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 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.”
In addition to being able to add up to five locations, FEMA has added an emergency supplies checklist, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on what to do during a severe weather event to the app.
FEMA has also added a “Disaster Reporter” feature to its app, so that users can upload and share pictures of severe weather and damage.
Some other key features of the app include:
- Safety Tips: Tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
- Disaster Reporter: Users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts
- Maps of Disaster Resources: Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers
- Apply for Assistance: The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance
- Information in Spanish: The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language