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August 26, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

FEMA Smartphone App and Text Messaging Service – In Time for Hurricane Irene

Screenshots of FEMA smartphone app

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced a FEMA App for smartphones. Together with another tool for individuals to sign up for text message updates, the timing of these digital tools allow east coast Americans to prepare for the approach of Hurricane Irene.

The new FEMA smartphone App will help make disaster preparedness and recover information available for an increasingly mobile society. It will allow users to easily access safety tips for all different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for their emergency kits, emergency meeting locations and plans, and maps to help locate nearby shelters or FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers – one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services.

All of the disaster preparedness information on the App is pre-loaded so users will be able to access all of its tips and tools even if they don’t have an active signal. The App is free and is immediately available on Android operating systems.

On the other hand, the FEMA text message updates, will allow cell phone users to receive regular text message updates from FEMA, such as important tips for disaster preparedness, or to search for nearby shelters or Disaster Recovery Centers, while on the go. It’s easy for anyone with a cell phone to sign up, and standard text message and data rates apply.

To sign up for monthly preparedness tips, users can text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA).

To search for shelters, users can text SHELTER and their Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA); to search for Disaster Recovery Centers, users can text DRC and their Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).

To download the FEMA Smartphone App, go to Android Market

Source: FEMA Congressional Advisory by NC Rep. Renee Ellmers

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