Many people like to think we’ll be able to check our phones for the latest news, instructions on what to do, and messages from our friends and family who may have been affected by a disaster. If the disaster is serious, those people may be surprised to learn that cell phone networks are jammed even if they are working. In a big disaster, cell phone networks will also be down because of broken wires, lack of electricity, and other infrastructure failures.
In case the network is still functional, and in some cases where cell phone and Wi-Fi networks are not available, we offer this list of apps from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services that may be helpful to you in an emergency. Some of them are designed for specific types of emergencies or to assist medical professionals, and some are for regular folks like us. All of them offer fascinating windows into the world of disaster response.