Helpful Apps To Use During Hurricane Irma, According To Florida's Governor
As Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida, the state is warning its residents to take precautions. One of the problems arising with the preparations is gasoline shortages. Thankfully, technology is here to keep information flowing as quickly as possible. On Thursday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott told residents to utilize online resources to readily gather up-to-date information. Specifically, he told them about helpful apps to use during Hurricane Irma.
According to TechCrunch, the Gas Buddy app will come in handy because it has a fuel availability tracker. Many residents are topping off their tanks as they prepare for an evacuation, and that means some gas stations are running out of fuel. While Florida is working with gas companies, federal authorities, distributors, and other states to bring in more fuel, the app is updated in real time to help residents now. The users can mark if a station is out, and that information is immediately updated.
To further help residents, the Gas Buddy app made an update today that further clarifies the difference between "no gas" and "no power," making it easier to decipher the icons when looking at the app. This kind of information is very important right now because the company tells TechCrunch that, "they are now seeing hundreds of gas stations across Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina without fuel."
As the state prepares for road closures, Google Maps is there to help. Governor Scott said, "We're coordinating with Google's emergency response team to prepare to close roads in Google Maps in real-time in the event that Hurricane Irma forces a closure of any roads in the aftermath of the storm." Waze, which is owned by Google, can also help as the app utilizes its users to crowdsource information about road conditions in real time.
As evacuations are a real possibility once Irma hits, there will be a need for places to stay. Expedia is helping by updating room occupancy in real time. Scott told Florida residents, "If you need a hotel, go to Expedia.com/florida."
Internet access is likely to be difficult when the awful storm conditions hit, so Comcast is opening 137,000 hotspots to ensure people stay connected. The Xfinity hotspots will be free, regardless if you're a subscriber or not. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will also join the cause, because worrying about where loved ones are shouldn't be part of dealing with weathering this storm.
Finally, Apple is making it easy for anyone looking for these resources by creating a "Stay Safe After the Hurricane" collection. Some of the apps included are: The Weather Channel, FEMA, Hurricane by American Red Cross, CNN, Facebook, and Twitter.
So, if you're in the path of Irma, look to these apps to help keep you informed as you get to safety ahead of the storm.