In an emergency, there are good reflexes to have. And in these very difficult situations, your smartphone can be very useful.

The vast majority of emergency room and other disasters occur without warning, which is why it may be good to take the lead, to some extent. Maybe you have already done it. An everyday object can be very useful for this, and you always have it with you: your smartphone. Here are essential apps to have for emergencies.

An offline messaging app

Connectivity is often badly damaged during major disasters. It’s a good idea to download some offline messaging apps. Rather than relying on a cellular signal, these apps use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to find people near you.

As long as others have the same app installed and are within range, you can communicate with them. On Android, Briar is a good option. In cross-platform, Bridgefy is a very good alternative.

If the internet is not cut off, you can try Zello, a walkie-talkie app that lets you chat with people over data or Wi-Fi. Zello has public and private channels where you can talk to others around you and ask for help. Handy for emergencies, but the app won’t work if Zello’s servers are down.

Be alerted in real time

Since June 21, 2022, FR-Alert, the new system for alerting and informing populations, has been deployed throughout the territory. It allows notifications to be sent to the mobile phones of people present in an area facing serious danger (natural disaster, biological, chemical or industrial accident, terrorist act, etc.) in order to inform them of the nature of the risk, its location and on the behaviors to adopt to protect themselves.

FR-Alert is designed to alert anyone present in the danger zone through telecommunications networks. It is therefore not necessary to register in advance to receive alerts or to download a mobile application.

If you are in an area facing a threat or a serious danger, you will receive a notification accompanied by a specific sound signal and a vibration, even if your mobile phone is in silent mode, offline or in airplane mode .

Apps to teach you first aid

If you are faced with a health emergency, The App that Saves: Red Cross (android, iOS) can help you. You will find first aid instructions for various medical emergencies, quizzes to test your knowledge, and more.

An app for your pets

The American Red Cross also offers a first aid app for your pets. Pet First Aid is very complete, you will know how to react to all situations. Available on iOS and android.

Location sharing app to make it easy for others to find you

When you need to contact first responders, you can use various apps to share your location. You can do this very easily with iMessage or WhatsApp, or you can use apps like Google Maps or SirenGPS (android, iOS).

Do not forget the native functions of your smartphone

Smartphones have a large number of native emergency features. Take the time to familiarize yourself with it.

The iPhone has an emergency feature that takes a minute to get used to. Similarly, you should enable fall detection on your Apple Watch to alert others when you need help. If you have an Android smartphone, you can create an SOS alert system, tutorials abound.


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