Apps for surviving a natural disaster

The apps can be very useful in case of emergency: they signal incoming storms, allow you to share your location with family members and law enforcement

An old TV commercial claimed that a phone call extends your life. A slogan, more than anything else, but that finds a basis of truth if the word "phone call" is replaced by the term "smartphone". It happens more and more often, in fact, that our mobile devices play a role of primary importance in the event of a natural disaster.

Thanks to their sensors and, above all, to the hundreds of millions of apps available on the various online stores, smartphones can become invaluable devices to survive a natural disaster. A statement that may seem exaggerated but that, instead, corresponds to reality. All you need to do is download the right app to be able to avoid a torrential downpour or a cloudburst and not be stuck in your car surrounded by water. And that's not all: smartphones allow us to know the position of the people closest to us at all times. A useful feature to track them down in case they are in a dangerous area and get some more information about where they are and how they are doing.

Google Trusted Contacts

Designed to help us in case of a natural disaster or any other dangerous situation, Google Trusted Contacts lets you create a list of people (family, friends or acquaintances) with whom you can share your location. Trusted contacts that you select when setting up the app will receive periodic updates on our location: just access the app and select one of our contacts to see the latest geolocation received.

Temporal Radar: Weather Map

Knowing in advance where a downpour, thunderstorm or very strong showers will hit can make the difference between being able to get to safety and finding yourself in trouble. Thunderstorm Radar: Weather Map is one of the best weather apps when it comes to the accuracy of the information provided. By opening the app you can see the latest forecasts and, thanks to radar and satellite images, assess whether a storm or a large storm front is approaching your city.


Realized in collaboration with several civil protection associations throughout Italy, Librarisk collects in a single app the civil protection plans of all Italian municipalities. It will be sufficient to download it on your device to know the escape routes, the areas most at risk and the evacuation procedures in case of natural disaster. There is also a section in which you can consult all the bulletins of the Department of Civil Protection, in which there are the most immediate risks to the safety of people.

112 Where ARE U

Like Google's Trusted Contacts, 112 Where ARE U allows you to communicate your location in case you are in danger. In this case, however, the signal will arrive directly to the 112 operations center (the European emergency number that replaced the old 113 and 118), which will send the necessary means of rescue. The app also has an ICE (acronym for In case of emergency) section, where rescuers can find phone numbers to call in case of loss of consciousness.

INGV Terremoti

Curated by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, the INGV Terremoti app collects, in a handy list, all the earthquakes recorded in recent weeks in Italy (and, above a certain magnitude, also those recorded in the rest of the world). It is a useful tool to keep up to date on the seismic activity of our country and to remove any doubt whatsoever in case you have felt a tremor (or microshock).

Are you okay? Tell Facebook

Introduced in the first half of September 2017, this is the evolution of Facebook Safety Check. This tool allows you to find out which friends are (or have been) in a natural disaster zone and know whether or not they have confirmed that they are okay. What has just been described, however, is only the "basic functionality" of Are you okay? Tell Facebook: by accessing one of the disasters in the list below, you can make donations to non-profit associations and NGOs working in the field or, if your home has not been damaged, offer shelter and food to people less fortunate. Everything will be shown on a map, so that those in difficulty will know where to go.

Register a trusted contact on the SIM

In case of natural disaster it may happen that our smartphone - or cell phone - breaks and we, for whatever reason, lose consciousness. To avoid this unfortunate series of events, it is advisable to register a number of a trusted contact (a family member or friend) in the SIM card's address book: it has a higher degree of resistance than electronic devices and can be used with cell phones or smartphones of any make and model. A rescuer will then be able to insert it into his device and contact the person you have indicated.