Ridin’ the Storm Out — 5 Essential Weather Preparedness Apps

Hunker in your bunker folks, because once again tornado season is here and hurricane season is on its way. There are definitely going to be storms a-brewin’ this summer whether you’re inland or on the coast. But, never fear, RadioShack is here to help you ride the storms out. We have all the batteries, solar chargers and weather radios to keep you informed and safe, but we also like to keep you up to date on all the great weather preparedness apps for smartphones and tablets. In addition to the ones we shared last storm season, here are five more great weather preparedness apps to take your mobile device from entertainment mode to survival mode.


iMap Weather Radio

Let’s face it, when the time comes to head into an interior room or get into the bathtub and put a mattress on top of you, you can’t really take the TV along with you. iMap Weather Radio keeps the news and warnings coming via audio alerts and video updates in areas where local media partners participate. The “Follow Me” feature will also use your location when you’re on the move and update as you find a safe place to take shelter.

Get it from iTunes



Stop Disaster

We all remember a few choice tips for what to do in certain disasters: stand in a doorway during earthquakes, don’t stand in open fields in a lightning storm, etc. But, what do you do with your dog during a tornado? What do you need to outlast a blizzard? Stop Disaster helps you get organized and prepare for 16 different scenarios, from fires to floods to snowstorms. Each scenario has a list of supplies you’ll need, valuable documents to keep track of and extra safety tips for caring for pets, children and the elderly.


Get it from iTunes




If you’re looking for a one-stop shop emergency app, the FEMA app is the one for you. Like Stop Disaster, it contains tips for different weather and disaster scenarios and an interactive checklist for emergency kits. Where this app excels is all the information it contains about AFTER the storm has passed. Learn how to recover after a disaster and find a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center location near you with the handy map feature. If the storm has mercifully passed you over, you can even get information on how to volunteer or donate to help those who were less fortunate.


Get it from iTunes

Get it from Google Play Store




NOAA Hi-Def Radar

There are quite a few apps that have weather radars, but few that look this good or have this many features. You can track storms pixel by pixel, with super-sharp images even on non hi-def screens. Watching on a new iPad screen may require an umbrella. As for features, this is the only radar app that allows you to customize the loop speed and the interval between the frames so it at least FEELS like you’re slowing down the ominous cloud mass heading your way.


Get it from iTunes




The one drawback that most weather preparedness apps have is that they focus entirely on the meteorological. What’s one to do in the face of an earthquake, Godzilla attack or zombie apocalypse? Nixle lets you receive information from local municipal agencies like the police and fire departments, which will alert you about ANY emergency situations in your area, not just weather-related crises. You can also subscribe to multiple areas to keep an eye out for loved ones and to find a haven where the zombie virus hasn’t reached yet.


Get it from iTunes




These are the kind of apps we hope you don’t have to use very often, but it always pays to be ready. Got any other storm or disaster-readiness apps we didn’t mention? Leave us a comment and let us know.


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  • Carolina Dhabolt

    I wish everyone was able to afford smartphones and amazing apps like these, it was pretty sad to see in the news a couple weeks ago that the people in that little town were not warned about the tornado that hit them because the town’s siren was broken by a storm that hit them a week before. It was pretty sad. I did not know about these apps but will download and try them out, thank you :)

  • Matt

    Sad to see my favorite weather app wasn’t on the list. Everyone needs RadarScope. It’s worth every penny.

  • Iris

    In order of importance –

    #1 – Carolina – there are other approaches to warnings that can be sent to any phone, and landlines in some cases. The local municipality may have a text message alert, or a phone based alert. Often the local college will have these if the municipality doesn’t. Other than the cost of receiving the text, people should be able to find one with no fee. There is a free service from f5data at http://www.cellwarn.com/ Our local township and our local college also offer services like this, and send a recorded phone message to any phone you choose. Neither of these requires a smart phone.

    Here’s another, but I’ve not used this one –
    They say they’ll add carriers not currently on their list.

    If necessary, on most but not all carriers, you can sign up for an email type alert on your phone, by using the email address for SMS service – the address will be your phone number @ some domain specific for your carrier. This may be a little tricky to authorize properly (they usually want a reply from the address as approval) but it can be done. This is an extreme case, though I know of at least one carrier where even this is not possible.

    #2 – Please put something in the article title that indicates what system you are discussing. Everyone doesn’t have (or want) an iPhone. Go Android!

    #3 – How about making the word “blog” findable on the radioshack.com page? It is there, but a search on the page doesn’t highlight it. (At least in Firefox.)

  • Penina Scullion

    The only problem is that during some of these incidents, even cell phone towers and internet will be lost. I miss having an FM antenna built into my smartphone for just those emergencies.