Helpful Information in the Palm of Your Hands

These days we are all connected to our phones for social media, texting, checking email and downloading the latest popular games. The next time you’re scrolling the latest trending applications (apps), don’t overlook the power of information available at your fingertips. Many free apps can help you keep tabs on the world around you, and provide resources before, during and after an emergency.

It is always a good idea to keep your phone fully-charged, especially if you know of an event like a major storm ahead of time.  Like the saying goes, knowledge is power and we can use technology to our advantage. Here are some tips!

Make sure your phone’s settings are set to receive Amber Alerts and Emergency Alerts.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a free app with weather, preparedness and disaster resources.


There are various earthquake apps available, such as this one from the University of California, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.


The American Red Cross has various apps available that cover first aid, preparedness and other topics.



It is also a good idea to follow key accounts on social media to receive important information in their news feed. Weather, news and traffic apps are useful too! Keep in mind during and after a disaster, smartphone service may be limited or non-existent for a while. Always have your emergency plans in place BEFORE a disaster strikes.


More info:

Cal OES Webpage


American Red Cross


Monica Vargas

Monica is an Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, 2017 winter storms, North Bay Fires, Camp Fire, Ridgecrest Earthquake, 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake EMAC PIO, 2020 fire siege and the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in the executive, international affairs and technology offices.

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