One of the best ways to stay connected if your power goes out during Hurricane Sandy is via your smartphone.
Here's a list of some helpful apps to have on you smartphone as Hurricane Sandy bears down on Montgomery County, Pa.
Montgomery County Community Alert System: This is the most direct way to get updates on any muncipality or school district in Montgomery County, Pa. Visit https://montco.alertpa.org/ to get weather updates and other vital storm-related updates from the agency that is in charge of handling storm response in the County. You can add a phone number for text alerts or email account to check from your phone.
American Red Cross: This is the number one spot to find local shelters if you need it with the Shelters app and send out information via social networks to tell your friends and family you are safe with the Huricane App (for iOS and Android). In all, the Red Cross offers a total of five first aid and storm-related apps.
Radar: Connect with local weather updates on 6ABC via multiple apps. Click here to see the full list for iPhones, Blackberry and iPads. Track the storm on radar and get updated forecasts on the track and the storm’s impact.
Patch: Your No. 1 spot for all the local info you need. Download the Patch app and select your local community's Patch to stay in touch with what is happening with the storm close to home. Montgomery County sites are updating a live map with hazardous road conditions, flooding and fires, and a CoverItLive article is being updated minute-to-minute.
No matter the weather, Patch will be on and running. Out-of-state back-up teams are ready to post the news for you no matter our local forecast.
FEMA: The Federal Emergency Management Authority app (for iOS and Android) gives you plenty of great advice on how to get ready for the storm and what to do to stay safe as it bears down, plus weather updates.
Flashlight: You’ve been told to have battery-power lights and candles at the ready, but the phone in your pocket is a flashlight too. Download this app (for iOS, Android and Blackberry) to turn the flash on your Smartphone camera into a flashlight. There are a variety of other free apps that do this.
TuneIn Radio: This app is great to listen to the “radio” near and far (for iOS, Android and Blackberry). Get local news and information from radio stations close to home, but if you are interested in how other areas are faring you can check out stations from the South Coast, Connecticut and New York City too. Just watch your data use if you have plan limits and you are streaming on the cell network.
Have you used any of these apps? How do they work? What do you have on your phone to get you through the storm? Let other Patch users know in the comments.