New Digital Tools: FEMA App and Text Message Updates Posted by: Shayne Adamski, Senior Manager, Digital Engagement
As Hurricane Irene threatens the East Coast, I’m excited to announce FEMA’s gone mobile (again). I wanted to share two new ways you can get information about how to prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other disasters on your mobile devices, and here’s Administrator Fugate to introduce one of them (and then continue reading for even more details):
In the new FEMA App, you’ll be able to:
When we built the app, we kept the disaster survivor in mind, making sure much of the information would be available even if cell phone service isn’t, so you’ll be able to access the important information on how to safe after a disaster, as well as your family emergency meeting locations.
- Check off the items you have in your family’s emergency kit,
- Enter your family emergency meeting locations,
- Review safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster,
- View a map of shelters and disaster recovery centers across the U.S., and
- Read our latest blog posts.
So as Administrator Fugate said, you can download our app today in the Android market, and look for FEMA App for Blackberry version 6 devices and iPhones in the coming weeks.
FEMA Text Messages
A new and separate service from the new app, our text message updates will allow cell phone users to receive text message updates from FEMA.
- Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to sign up to receive monthly disaster safety tips
- Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345)
(For availability of shelters and services, contact your local emergency management agency.)
- Text DRC + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest disaster recovery center in your area (for example, if you lived in Annandale, Virginia with a Zip Code of 22003, you’d text DRC 22003).
We’re excited to provide these two new ways you can access information on your mobile device, in addition to our already existing mobile site – m.fema.gov. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook and Twitter channels as we roll out our app to the remaining smartphone operating systems and make enhancements to our text messages program.
So download the app or text PREPARE to 43362, and then leave us a comment and let us know what you think. We encourage you to tell a family member, friend, or neighbor as well, so they can have disaster safety information always at their fingertips.
FEMA app frequently asked questions
Q: Will I get emergency alerts and warnings through the FEMA App?
A: No. The FEMA App provides preparedness and disaster recovery information only. If you are in an emergency situation and need to reach a first responder, you should always dial 911. And remember to listen to your state and local officials for instructions and updates about emergencies where you live.
Q: Can I discontinue using the App at anytime?
A: Yes. To discontinue using the FEMA App, simply delete the icon on your smartphone or remove it just like you remove any other App on your smartphone.
Q: What are the future enhancements?
A: If you have suggestions/ideas for future enhancements, please send them to: FEMAfirstname.lastname@example.org. FEMA will continue to develop enhancements and add them to updated versions of the App, and we welcome your input.