November 18, 2020
Winter 2020-2021 is going to be quite different, thanks to the pandemic. Many of us are planning to spend more time at home to safeguard against COVID-19, which means that winter weather road conditions will be less of an issue. However, there will still be times when you need to be weather aware, and for those instances, there are many apps to help you plan, prepare, and stay safe!
Winter Survival Kit is a free app for both iOS and Android that was developed at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service. It is a bare bones app without a lot of bells and whistles, but it has the information needed to help drivers who get stuck or stranded in severe winter weather. This app can help you identify your current location, call 911, notify your family and friends, and let you know how long you may run your car’s engine to keep warm and be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Drive Weather and Highway Weather are remarkably similar to each other in that they both provide travel weather forecasts for your entire road trip at the time you will arrive at each location. Using either, you may plan for your drive with interactive weather radar to avoid dangerous weather conditions. Both apps are free and available for iOS and Android, and each offers premium features with a paid subscription. Try both to see which interface you prefer before purchasing a subscription!
CamOnRoad is an interesting app that transforms your smartphone into an advanced car dash camera with GPS. This app also provides “speedcam” detection and alert in case you accidentally exceed the speed limit. CamOnRoad is free to download without ads and provides registered users with 2 GB of cloud storage space, which is more than three hours of road video. Additional space may be purchased through subscription. This app is available for both iOS and Android.
You may find yourself stranded somewhere offline where many apps will not work. What do you do then? There are apps for iOS and Android that provide offline information on survival if you have them already on your phone. Offline Survival Manual for Android and Survival Guide for iOS are both offline survival skill guides that can help you stay warm, find food, and water, and provide basic first aid.
The American Red Cross and FEMA both have apps to help prepare for disasters, and they also provide instructions on how to deal with food and water impacted by power outages. The Red Cross Tornado app can help rescuers find you with its Toolkit’s strobe light, flashlight, and audible alert.
Apps can help prepare you for disasters, but it is important to remember that they are not substitutes for planning and training. Additionally, before you download any app, read user reviews, and make sure that your location data will be secure and not sold by the company.
And of course, no matter where you’re spending time this winter, don’t forget to use the Library’s free digital resources, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, and streaming music and movies, which can all be accessed on the go with your MCPL Access Pass (Library card).
Stay safe this winter!
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