iPhone-wielding disaster relief workers, take note of these cool apps:
Updated at 3:00PM on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 with recommendations from @FireTracker2, @jgarrow (Jim Garrow) and CrisisCommons-er Michael Russell.
Tools for emergency / disaster responders in the field…
Open Shelters; 4.5 stars, free – This app gives users easy mobile access to shelters that are currently open in response to a crises such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake.
Emergency Radio; 3.5 stars, $2.99 – Not content to be just a police scanner, this app features live police, fire, EMS, railroad, air traffic, NOAA weather, Coast Guard and other emergency frequencies.
MapQuest 4 Mobile; 3 stars, free – Maps plus voice-guided, turn-by-turn walking or driving directions, and traffic updates!
GPS Kit; 4 stars, $9.99 – Includes full-featured maps, caching, customizable GPS readouts, etc., all designed to make this the essential outdoors app. It also allows you to share your location with other GPS Kit users.
911 Toolkit; 4.5 stars, $7.99 – A tool specially designed for EMTs, paramedics, hazmat teams and other emergency responders that features incident response checklists, anatomy diagrams, CPR guidelines and so much more.
EchoLink; 4 stars, free – This app is for licensed ham radio operators only and provides access to the EchoLink network for pre-validated users. This app uses streaming audio, so check your service plan to avoid unexpected extra fees.
“How to” guides for emergency / disaster personnel…
iFirstAid Lite; 3.5 stars, free – This app functions as a first-aid assistant with voice instructions on CPR, bleeding, burns, choking, and poisoning.
Rescue Knots: 4 stars, $.99 – An at-your-finger-tips reference for tying 27 of the most popular and useful knots used in emergency situations.
Specialized support for relief and response workers…
Relief Central; 3 stars, free – Mobile web resource designed to assist relief workers, first responders, etc., serving in disaster situations around the world. Includes the CIA World Factbook, USAID Field Operations Guide, relief news from the Red Cross, United Nations, CDC, and FEMA, and more.
In the world of social media…
Flickr for iPhone; 3.5 stars, free – Upload photos of disaster relief efforts to Flickr on the go. You can geo-tag your photos and post them simultaneously to Twitter too.
TwitPic Uploader; 3ish stars, $1.99 – Upload photos directly from your photo albums or from your iPhone’s camera – with comments – to TwitPic.com’s upload service for viewing by your Twitter followers. Includes options for re-sizing your photos.
Ustream Live Broadcaster; 2.5 stars, free – Live stream and record videos right from your phone using 3G or WiFi.
Not just for emergency / disaster response folks…
Close Call; 3.5 stars, free – Just in case you’re the one who needs emergency assistance one day, this simple app allows users to customize their iPhone wallpaper with an emergency number, a short message and a custom health alert (drug allergy, chronic condition, etc.)
DropBox; 4 stars, free – A free DropBox account is required to use this app which provides users with an easy way to sync files online and across computers, and share them with people. You can also save files to the iPhone device for offline viewing.
SAS Survival Guide; 4.5 stars, $8.99 – Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this app is the definitive guide to surviving any situation, anywhere in the world. Also includes a sun compass, a Morse Code signalling device, a survival checklist and more.
WikiHood; 4 stars, free – Using information found on Wikipedia, this travel guide app delivers location-based information that’s organized into helpful categories.
GoodReader; 4.5 stars, $1.99 – A PDF reader with advanced reading, annotating, markup and highlighting capabilities that allows you to transfer files directly from your computer over a USB cable, Wi-Fi connection, from the Internet or from email attachments.
I plan to keep adding to this list and move it to a permanent page on this blog, so please let me know if you’ve found some good apps for the iPhone, or other smart phones in use by Salvation Army emergency / disaster services personnel. Thank you!