ATLANTA — With FEMA’s updated free app, you can get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation.
You can receive alerts on severe weather happening anywhere in the country, even if your phone is not in the area.
That makes it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening your family and friends, especially now as the height of hurricane season approaches.
"Emergency responders and disaster survivors are increasingly turning to mobile devices to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters," said Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator. "This new feature empowers individuals to assist and support family and friends before, during and after a severe weather event."
Mobile apps are an essential way to receive the lifesaving severe weather warnings.
According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans have used their smartphones to look up government services or information. Additionally, most smartphone owners use their devices to keep up to date with breaking news and what is happening in their community.
Every minute counts when severe weather threatens.
These alerts are another tool in the toolbox to build a nation that’s ready, responsive and resilient.
The new weather alert feature adds to the app’s existing features: a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters.
Some other key features of the app include:
• Safety tips — Tips on how to stay safe before, during and after more than 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
• Disaster reporter — Users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts.
• Maps of Disaster Resources — Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers.
• Apply for Assistance — The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance.
• Information in Spanish — The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language.
The FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.
For more information go to www.fema.gov/mobile -app.
If you already have the app downloaded, you can update it so the weather alerts take effect. To learn more about the FEMA app, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxBdhLtNuxM.