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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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                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                  Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                  Or even better:

                  What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                  You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                  Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                  How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                  The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                  In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                  • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                  • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                  • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                  As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                  Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                  Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                  But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                  his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                  5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                  Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                  But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                  1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                  2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                  3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                  4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                  5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                  Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                  There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                  • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                  • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                  • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                  • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                  Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                  With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                  25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                  Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                  1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                  If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                  2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                  If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                  If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                  3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                  Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                  =sum(

                  …and then press F3.

                  When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                  4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                  Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                  =match(

                  …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                  When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                  But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                  5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                  If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                  • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                  • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                  • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                  • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                  • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                  6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                  By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                  The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                  For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                  A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                  7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                  When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                  8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                  When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                  9. Use filtering

                  Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                  It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                  To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                  10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                  Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                  Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                  To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                  11. See formula results with F9

                  If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                  Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                  12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                  If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                  13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                  Here’s how to use EDATE:

                  =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                  =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                  14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                  Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                  =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                  =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                  15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                  TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                  16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                  In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                  17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                  When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                  And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                  18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                  If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                  19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                  Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                  You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                  20. Use data validation

                  This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                  • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                  • Create drop-down lists;
                  • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                  21. Use conditional formatting

                  It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                  22. Use formula auditing

                  This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                  The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                  23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                  Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                  It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                  24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                  INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                  25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                  OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                  The bottom line

                  As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                  That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                  If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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