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Roundup: Best Apps for Hurricane Season

Coastal Computer - Thursday, February 18, 2016

After you’ve prepared a plan to protect your IT and computers during hurricane season by following our tips here and here, you might be interested in the best way to track an incoming storm, on your PC, or more likely, your smartphone or tablet. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best apps for hurricane season.

A Note of Caution

Many of the hurricane tracker apps out there simply take the data from the National Hurricane Center or NHC and then put ads on top of it. Watch out for these apps. And when in doubt, go to the source:

Smart & Safe Hurricane Apps

#1 - National Hurricane Center - NHC mobile site

The team at the NHC, which is part of NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, are the recognized experts in storm tracking. Instead of downloading a junk app filled with a bunch of ads, visit their site mobile site:

National Hurricane Center Mobile Site

#2 - American Red Cross Hurricane App

The American Red Cross Hurricane App reuses the data from NOAA, and adds useful information to help keep you safe, before, during, and after a storm. This app is from a trusted source and also allows you to keep track of disaster situations that may impact loved one’s living elsewhere and also inform them when you are safe via automatic posts to social media. Many of their apps are useful, and their hurricane app is our #2 for hurricane season:

American Red Cross Hurricane App

#3 - FEMA Mobile App

Like the American Red Cross Hurricane App, the mobile app from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, provides information on how to survive natural disasters, including hurricanes. This is a great app to have for getting prepared. During a storm and in the aftermath, you can also receive alerts from the National Weather Service and find information on shelter locations:

FEMA Mobile App

Weather Watching Apps

Once you’ve made sure you and your loved one’s are safe, and taken any other necessary precautions, you may be in a place where you want to pass the time tracking the storm. When it’s time to be more of a spectator, here are some apps to watch the weather and track the storms during hurricane season.

#4 - Weather Underground

When it comes to weather focussed apps, Weather Underground delivers a number of apps that give you up-to-date weather information based on their unique network of 100,000+ neighborhood weather stations. They’ve got great cross-platform support, so you’re sure to find an app for your device:

Weather Underground Apps

Storm-Tracking Apps

Many of the the hurricane and storm-tracking apps use the NHC data, so it’s best to go to the source. However, when you want to step up your storm-watching after everyone is safe and sound, check out these apps that offer different approaches to tracking the storms.

#5 - Hurricane Tracker

Hurricane Tracker is a great way to sit back and track hurricanes during hurricane season. Popular on iOS, it’s now available across devices and on the desktop via the web:

Hurricane Tracker Apps

#6 - Hurricane Hound

Hurricane Hound is available for Android and offers a unique feature for tracking storms by showing their progress on a Google Maps background. The ads in the free version are a little much, however, like Hurricane Tracker, this is a great app for storm-watching:

Hurricane Hound App

#7 - Hurricane Software

Wrapping up our list is Hurricane Software. They’ve got great cross-platform support and their “Tracking the Eye” software has been around for some time. You can download the version for your platform, including Windows Desktop, here:

Hurricane Software Apps

Safety First

These great apps will help keep you safe and help pass the time tracking the storm during hurricane season. However, make sure to review the checklists in the FEMA app before you worry about downloading any of the storm-tracking software. As much helpful fun as these apps are, it’s always more important to stay aware of your immediate surroundings and keep safe when a storm strikes. Once you’re safe, then you can sit back and enjoy looking at cool satellite photos and the projected storm path in greater detail.