Hurricane Irma has managed to become one of the largest storms forming out of the Atlantic in the past 50 years. Past hurricanes such as Andrew, Katrina, and Harvey were all catastrophic and expected to be the worst of the worst. Irma, however, has surpassed all three in terms of wind speeds, cyclone energy, and intensity. In the past, hurricane information was communicated through television and web news, the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale reportings, and social media, but a new application has sent people rushing to download it from the app store.

The Hurricane App by the Red Cross is a mobile application that can be extremely useful in getting updated information on the storm. The app is free for iPhone and Android devices allowing you to stay up to date with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration alerts, along with providing a way to connect with friends and family, letting them know you are okay. It also has a flashlight, strobe and alarm features. There is also another free app with first-aid advice for situations ranging from anaphylactic shock to heart attacks.

Another useful app is called “Zello” and it’s a walkie talkie app which allows people to communicate when cell phone networks aren’t working. The app has risen to the top of Apple’s App Store charts, rising above popular apps like Snapchat, Google, YouTube, and Facebook. This app allows users to communicate live with people via the app by touching and holding a button. It doesn’t require a mobile network but does need an internet connection.

Lastly, when people along Irma’s path begin to evacuate, there is a website that can help drivers find the closest and cheapest gas stations to them. As Irma nears, people have already been complaining about the long lines at gas stations and how frustrating it can be to wait for pumps; and, ultimately, the gas stations run completely out of gas. This website, named tracker.gasbuddy.com, is the go-to source for the cheapest gas in your area. The GasBuddy website is also a go-to source for finding available gas. Just type in a ZIP code or city at tracker.gasbuddy.com and it returns a list of stations with gas and without.

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