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Irene disaster recovery: There are smartphone apps for that

Consumer Reports News: August 29, 2011 10:38 AM

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Millions of people along the Eastern Coast of the U.S. are coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. And disaster recovery apps for iPhone and Android smart phones can offer some high-tech aid.

As we previously noted, social media tools and websites are big sources for disaster news and communications. And as we've heard from friends and followers on our Facebook page, cell phone service remained functional during Hurricane Irene.

So, even though you may be out of power and home Internet service, you're not out of luck. Here are some smart phone apps that might help you deal with recovering after Irene or any other natural disaster:

FEMA Mobile app (
This free app for Apple iPhones and Android-based smart phones provides timely disaster information from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Office. The app also provides links and information on how to apply for federal recovery aid and assistance after an event such as Hurricane Irene.

The Red Guide (
This $10 app for Apple iPhones and iPad tablet computers is available for $5 for a limited time from Apple's iTunes store. Produced by a non-government organization in San Diego, offers a 10 point "quick start" on what to do in the first 24-hours of disaster recovery. It also provides news feeds from The Red Cross and FEMA; important contact information for recovery assistance; and videos to help save time and money during the recovery process.

Disaster Recovery Log (
This free app for Android smart phones was developed by North Dakota State University in Fargo. It allows users to take notes—including video and audio footage—of personal property damage by using their smartphone's capabilities. The app also include information from NDSU on how to clean or deal with flood-damaged appliances and electronics as well as tips about dealing with mold.

Have you found any other useful post-Irene apps or tips? Share them with fellow survivor by submitting a comment below.

FEMA: Hundreds seeking federal aid via smartphones [Washington Post]

Paul Eng

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