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Got disaster? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been working hard to improve its image since Hurrican Katrina, the costliest and one of the deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The agency received a fair amount of praise for preparation and response to Hurricane Irene’s recent destructive tour of the East Coast, and now FEMA has released a mobile app for Android. It’s great, so download it immediately.
The app provides excellent information on disaster preparation, including detailed instructions on what to do before, during and after a natural disaster. It's broken out by type (earthquake, extreme heat, flood, hurricane, and so on), includes an interactive checklist for creating your own emergency kit, plus a clever note-taking section for your personal meeting places (primary in-town, secondary in-town and out of town) that you can agree on with your family and friends.
If you're a disaster survivor, the app is a perfect resource for getting in touch with FEMA. From the app, you can apply for assistance over the web or call FEMA hotlines. You also find maps of FEMA disaster centers around the country.
Want to stay in touch? The app provides access to FEMA blogs, tells you how to sign-up for text messaging alerts from the agency, and links FEMA’s social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). If you want to get proactive, the app tells you how to sign up as a volunteer through Citizen Corps.