Apps that help you track hurricanes, plan ahead

The NOAA Radar US app in the iTunes store.
The NOAA Radar US app in the iTunes store.

The last time South Florida was walloped by a hurricane, apps were not even invented yet. We hope we won’t have to give them a test drive next week, but to be prepared we’ve compiled a list of some useful apps to track the storm and to use in the aftermath, provided we have service, of course.

In a related digital development, Google said Thursday that it has enhanced its weather forecasts and Public Alerts in Google Search to better track hurricanes. Now, when you search the web for information about particular storms, you may see a map showing your location in relation to the oncoming storm, visualizations of its forcasted track, wind severity and arrival time according to NOAA, and instructions for preparing and staying safe, from FEMA and The safety recommendations will be tailored to reflect the current status of the storm and the searcher’s current location.

Now, here is a sampling of apps you may want to download for your hurricane kit.

NOAA Radar US: Everything you need in a app for viewing animated weather radar images and hyperlocal storm patterns. $1.99 (for iPhone and iPad).

Hurricane App by the Red Cross: The free app for iPhone and Android helps you stay up to date with NOAA alerts, along with providing a way to connect with friends and family and let them know you are OK. It also has a flashlight, strobe and alarm. There is a second free app with first-aid advice for situations ranging from anaphylactic shock to heart attacks. To download both apps, visit:

The Weather Channel Apps: The go-to source for all things weather-related offers free apps for iPhone/iPad and Android.

Dark Sky: Using state-of-the-art technology to predict weather events down to the minute at your exact location, the app has its fans. Its animated visutalizations promote hurricanes to an art form. $3.99 (iPhone/iPad).

Know Your Plan: This free iPhone/iPad app by the Insurance Information Institute will help you plan ahead to better protect yourself, your family, your home, and even your pets. Use the preloaded checklists or create your own. Not a downloadable app, but this storm site features checklists, information on how to report an outage and check on its status as well as other preparation tips.

Don’t forget to download Flashlight, which as you can expect, provides a flashlight out of the phone. Similar versions exist for Android devices.

After the storm and no power at home? Order in through the Caviar app, with access to dozens of restaurants (we trust some will have generators), and open up a game of Monopoly, Life or Uno, classic games reinvented for iPhone and iPad play.