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Be Prepared: Everyone Should Know These 16 Disaster And Crisis Apps Or Extensions

Be Prepared: Everyone Should Know These 16 Disaster And Crisis Apps Or Extensions

Despite growing technological advances, leaps forward in technology, caution, and medical professions, disasters and crises still happen every day. Whether you are facing hazards from the environment or dangerous people, the most important thing in any disaster is contacting emergency services and loved ones quickly and effectively. The following 16 apps and services are utterly indispensable for those in precarious conditions, including situations of extreme weather, man-made disasters, unsafe situations, and even domestic violence.

Aspire News

Our first disaster and crisis app comes from Robin McGraw, wife of TV personality Dr. Phil. Designed for users who need help out of treacherous domestic abuse situations, this clever app disguises itself as a common mobile app. The front page of the app functions just like a news aggregator, so potentially violent partners don’t suspect a thing. In reality, users need only tap the help section to bring up a page listing local domestic violence resources. Not only that, tapping the top bar three times activates a “Go Button”. Users assign chosen emergency contacts to this panic button, so when pressed contacts are instantly alerted of a violent situation. The app’s creators state that this app is not a replacement for dialing 911, but it may be an effective way to contact supportive people in situations where you are at greater risk by contacting emergency personnel. It’s a good idea to speak to your emergency contacts before hand about the app, so you can ask them to call 911 for you any time you activate the panic button.

Circle of Six

Circle of Six is another effective disaster and crisis app. Designed for college students, this app lets users who need help promptly and discreetly contact six predetermined people. Available for both iPhone and Android, the app relies on visual buttons that send instructions to your contacts so others don’t know what you’re doing. Circle of Six lets you tell your contacts a variety of things including if you need a ride home, need an interruption, or are in the potentially dangerous situation. This app is exceptionally helpful for situations where you need help, but does not let users contact emergency services directly.

Panic Button

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Another disaster and crisis app for both iPhone and Android is Panic Button. This app allows you to quickly and easily send panic messages via text message, Twitter, Facebook, or even email. This is a spectacular app for getting a hold of friends and family if you are in distress, but also neglects to provide users a direct link to emergency services.

Disaster Alert

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    This global disaster and crisis app for iPhone alerts users to active hazards around the world. This app helps users monitor hazards as well as alert users to early warnings for a variety of events. Events you can monitor include hurricanes, tropical storms, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, storms, wildfires, man-made disasters, as well as National Weather Service alerts in Hawaii. This streamlined, efficient way to see what areas are affected by a disaster also aims to add other hazards in the future. In addition, you can enable push notifications to automatically receive updates for hazards in your area. Such an involved, far-reaching app is supremely helpful for users looking to monitor hazards nearby or near loved ones.

    Hurricane Tracker

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      Similarly, Hurricane Tracker alerts users to developing hurricanes throughout the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern Pacific, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaii. This app uses original maps and graphics to keep you up-to-date on a storms progression. This is another crisis and disaster app that users can opt for push notifications, to be automatically notified if the storm intensifies or change of course. This app is only available for iOS and costs $2.99. This app presents users with a highly accessible way to track hurricanes, but does not offer information on other types of natural disasters.

      Emergency Radio

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        Emergency Radio is another disaster and crisis app that stands to be extremely useful during times of hazards or disasters. This award-winning police scanner app allows you to listen to live feeds from police, fire, railroad, air traffic, train, EMS, Coast Guard, as well as NOAA weather information. The app features thousands of live radio streams, with new locations added every day. Currently, the app includes feeds from most United States locations, as well as several locations in Canada and Europe. This app is only for iOS and costs $1.99, but is useful in a variety of disasters.

        FEMA

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          The federal emergency management agency’s official app is another brilliant safety app. Tailored mainly to the United States, this disaster and crisis app includes information on how to stay safe or recover from disasters, as well as a live map of FEMA disaster recovery shelters. However, this app is also helpful for those outside of the United States because it includes important information on how to prepare for various types of disasters, as well as interactive checklists for emergency kits. An uncommonly broad tool, The FEMA app is sensational for both preparing for and surviving a disaster, and is available for free on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

          First Aid By American Red Cross

          The First Aid App from the American Red Cross is another extremely helpful free disaster and crisis app for Apple and Android devices. Mainly geared towards every day emergencies, this app provides interactive videos and step-by-step advice for first aid. Not only that, the app includes interactive quizzes for those looking to learn first aid before disaster strikes. The app also includes safety tips for severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies, as well as a simple way to call 911 directly from the app. Most impressively, because the app relies on pre-loaded content, you can access all the features of the app (besides contacting 911) even without signal or Internet connection. This makes the app extremely useful any time you need first aid advice, plus the app includes an easy way to toggle between English and Spanish instructions.

          Gaurdly

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          This impressive multitasking disaster and crisis app is helpful for users in all types of situations. Gaurdly let’s you program numbers into different groups, allowing you to contact exactly the group you need in different situations. For example, Gaurdly includes an easy way to contact 911, but also allows you to program in services like campus police or local security. Not only that, this app lets users discreetly contact emergency services via messaging for situations where calling emergency services would put you in jeopardy. Additionally, this app includes a emergency beacon that when activated plays a repeating whistle sound at full volume. Finally, this app integrates impressive collaboration with your emergency contacts. You can configure the app so that contacts closest to you are notified by email, telephone call, and text message should you enlist emergency help through the app. Plus, the app pairs with the Gaurdly online emergency response page, so emergency contacts and response personnel can track where you are. The app also notifies you of where your emergency contacts are located in case you need to find your nearest friend. This heavyweight app brings heaps of practical crisis features to the table and is free for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.

          bSafe

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            bSafe is a recent app that also hosts a multitude of useful features. Simply add friend’s contact details to this disaster and crisis app who you need in case of emergency. You can add multiple friends, or just keep it to a few close contacts. You also choose one emergency contact as your primary contact. When this app is open, the screen stays on regardless of your power saving features. Simply hit the alarm button if you are in a dangerous situation. Friends added to the app receive a text message, but your primary contact will receive a text as well as a call. Not only that, this app immediately begins recording video, audio, and broadcasting your location to your emergency contacts when the panic button is pressed. The app also includes two more helpful features. The first is a timer mode, perfect for jogs or quick errands. If you do not shut off the app before the timer goes off, your friends are alerted that you’re in a potentially dangerous situation. Second, bSafe allows you to program a fake call from contacts in your phone. You can set up a call on a timer to get you out of bad or awkward situations. The app also allows you to broadcast your location at any time making meet ups with friends easy, but you can also hide your location if you prefer.

            OnWatchOnCampus

            This simple app boils down the most important features for a disaster or crisis app. Created to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses, this app allows you to instantly call 911, call campus police, or call both 911 and your emergency contacts. should you alert emergency responders that you need help, the app instantly shares your GPS location. Additionally, this app lets you broadcast your current location to friends, as well as alert friends when you have safely arrived at your destination. The app is free to install and comes with a 30 day free trial. After your free trial, “Call 911” and “Call Campus Police” features are free and active forever. To also alert your emergency contacts and activate the “Arrived Safe” button, this app requires a $9.99 yearly subscription or a $.99 monthly subscription.

            MyForce

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            Another impressive personal safety app is my force. Like other safety apps, this app allows you to send an alert anytime you feel unsafe. Unlike other safety apps, myForce connects you to a live security professional who is informed of your location, instead of contacting friends or family. Your phone automatically records and broadcasts audio, video, and GPS information to this security agent. The person on the other end then notifies the appropriate authorities in your area to ensure you receive the help you need. Connecting users in distress to a human with access to your phones GPS data allows you a personalized response to any situation.

            Hollaback!

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              Hollaback is a unique app that strives to end street harassment. Users can submit times and locations where they were harassed, as well as upload a photo of the harasser. Though the app does not connect users with emergency services, it does provide users a way to draw attention to potentially chronic harassers, as well as avoid areas where harassment is common. The app is a part of the nonprofit group Hollaback’s efforts to end street harassment through greater awareness, as well as showing others how harmful offhand comments can be. 

              Safety Check

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                One incredibly helpful fresh tool for natural disasters is Safety Check, a new feature from Facebook. This new way to communicate with loved ones during major catastrophes activates automatically and does not require any additional downloads. Should a natural disaster strike, you will automatically receive a Facebook notification asking if you are okay. Facebook determines whether you are near a disaster based on the city listed in your profile, where are you are using the Internet from, or your last location if you use nearby location awareness tools. When prompted, you can select the “I’m safe” button to generate a newsfeed story that lets your friends and family know you’re okay. This new feature also includes an option to let others know you are outside the area affected by the disaster. Additionally, should your friends be affected by a disaster, you can click on their safety update to access the Safety Check bookmark and see a list of updates from friends who are safe. 

                Kitestring

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                  Finally, Kitestring is a free service worth mentioning, despite the fact that it works even if you don’t have a smart phone. Simply provide your phone number and name to the Kitestring website, which generates a unique Kitestring contact address just for you. Add this number to your phone to seamlessly access the safety service from anywhere. To set an alert anytime you are in an unsure situation, send a text with how many minutes later the service should check up on you. Kitestring will then send you a text asking if you’re okay that many minutes later. If you do not respond, Kitestring sends a personalized alert message to your emergency contacts. Not only is this service free, all it requires is an online sign-up so you don’t need to download any additional software.

                  Featured photo credit: DVIDSHUB via flickr.com

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                  Alicia Prince

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                  Last Updated on June 17, 2019

                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                  Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                  There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                  Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                  It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                  For Getting Things Done

                  1. OmniFocus

                  This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                  Download it here.

                    2. Forest

                    Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                    Download it here.

                      3. Things

                      Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                      Download it here.

                        4. 30/30

                        Recently covered here at Lifehack

                        , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                        Download it here.

                          5. Any.Do

                          A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                          Download it here.

                            6. PocketLife Calendar

                            This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                            Download it here.

                              7. Asana

                              We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                              , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                              Download it here.

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                                8. ToDoist

                                This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                Download it here.

                                  9. FlowTasks

                                  From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                  Download it here.

                                    10. Calendars 5

                                    This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                    Download it here.

                                      11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                      A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                      Download it here.

                                        12. Due

                                        A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                        Download it here.

                                          13. Checkmark 2

                                          I use this app

                                          for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                          Download it here.

                                            14. TeuxDeux

                                            Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                            Download it here.

                                              15. Wunderlist 

                                              Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                              Download it here.

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                                                16. Nirvana

                                                For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                Download it here.

                                                  17. Priorities

                                                  An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    For Building Habits

                                                    18. Productive

                                                    With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                      You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        20. Streaks

                                                        This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          21. Remember The Milk

                                                          Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            22. Day One Journal

                                                            When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              For Files Organization

                                                              23. Evernote

                                                              Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                24. Pocket

                                                                You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                  25. Sync.Me

                                                                  This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    26. Droplr

                                                                    One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      27. Dropbox

                                                                      Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        28. iDolly 

                                                                        In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                        Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          29. Soulver

                                                                          It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            For Working Smarter

                                                                            30. Captio

                                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              31. Drafts

                                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                                  33. Doodle

                                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        36. GoodReader

                                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          37. LogMeIn

                                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            For Improving Security

                                                                                            38. 1Password

                                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                40. Truecallers

                                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                  More Great Apps Recommendations

                                                                                                  Reference

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