Mobile apps and the fight against natural disaster

Natural disasters are unpredictable, and as humans know all too well, unpreventable.

Thankfully, mobile and safety tech are diligently keeping up pace when it comes to preparing for such disasters, and also in recovery.  

FAIRFAX, CA - DECEMBER 13:  An icon for the Google Maps app is seen on an Apple iPhone 4S on December 13, 2012 in Fairfax, California. Three months after Apple removed the popular Google Maps from its operating system to replace it with its own mapping software, a Google Maps app has been added to the iTunes store. Apple Maps were widely panned in tech reviews and among customers, the fallout resulting in the dismissal of the top executive in charge of Apple's mobile operating system. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

These are some of the top tips and ideas to help "disaster-proof" your mobile devices:

Get a waterproof device

While not the norm, this safety feature is one that the future might consider a necessity.  From toilet or pool drops to attacks from Mother Nature herself, this is one kind of protection which can very well save you money (and sanity).

Have a backup battery

Perhaps your emergency situation is just that you procrastinate too often, or that you simply forget to keep your battery charged at decent levels.  Backup batteries are as cheap as $10, and can buy you a whole day of extra phone usage.  And if there's no outlet to charge your backup, there are even "crank-powered" batteries which you can charge without electricity.

Download Google Maps Offline Maps

Just as electricity isn't guaranteed in a disaster, it's possible to be in an area where GPS isn't available either.  It's a great idea to download Google Maps for offline usage.  You'll never need an internet connection - no GPS, no WIFI, no problem if you've downloaded your Google Maps in advance!

Listen to Marc Saltzman in with Gary and Shannon discussing how a prepared smartphone can help during a disaster right now!

Read more tips on preparing yourself and your phone for disaster at USA Today.

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