During a national disaster, contacting someone for help can be tricky. Luckily, in the digital age, there are emergency apps you can use without Wi-Fi, or cellular data, during a disaster. While some of these apps are also great hacks for free messaging during international travel, many were actually developed to help people in disaster zones call for help.
With Hurricane Irma being billed as one of the most devastating storms to ever make landfall in the U.S., Robert Gould, Florida Power & Light's vice president and chief communications officer, told Live Science that if power grids are totally destroyed Florida residents could be without power indefinitely. If you lose power, don't have a generator, and are trapped in your home, disaster apps could save your life.
Gould warned that since it's been more than 10 years since south Florida has experienced a major storm, felled trees will likely cause wide spread power outages. "There may be situations where we will physically have to rebuild, not restore, the power system," he told Live Science. That could take days or weeks."
If you need to call for help once winds subside, these emergency apps you can use without Wi-Fi, or cellular data, can provide a port in the storm — literally.