As many as 26 tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa today, with Oklahoma City hardest hit.
This was the second time this month a tornado hit Oklahoma City and the National Weather Service warns that millions are still at immediate risk for severe weather, from Texas to the Great Lakes. It is tracking storms moving eastward as far as the Gulf Coast and Northeast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
One way to protect yourself is to download an app that can warn you when a tornado is spotted in your area. Here’s a list of apps that can help:
Tornado from the American Red Cross
This free app is available in English or Spanish for the iPhone and Android. It sounds a siren when an official tornado warning has been issued and sends an all-clear signal when the warning is over. Some content is preloaded so users have information even if the phone lines go down, such as where Red Cross shelters are located. It also includes a preloaded, one-touch “I’m safe” message.
The Weather Channel app from the Weather Channel
A free, daily weather app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone that sends alerts for severe storms. It lets users upload photos and through augmented reality, users can hold the phone up and see photos that others shared.
TornadoSpy+ from By Justin Time
The $2.99 TornadoSpy+ iPhone and iPad app sends alerts and shows weather on radar maps. It also lets users upload crowdsourced info about tornadoes and other dangerous weather in their areas. Its makers say that on May 10, a user spotted the Oklahoma City tornado 20 minutes before the NOAA report, which meant other users had more time to protect themselves.
StormEye by Cody D. Smith
The free StormEye for iPhone and Android app takes information from the National Weather Service and provides details about storms near you. It tells you the storm’s location relative to your location, where the storm is heading, the storm’s intensity, hail probabilities, and maximum hail size.
Weather Radio by NOAA
If the power goes out but your 3G/4G service is still available, Weather Radio could become your lifeline. It streams more than 200 NOAA broadcasts plus includes alerts, emergency warnings for your state and detailed weather reports. It’s available for iPhone and Android and priced at $3.99.
Nixle from Nixle
Nixle sends an official text from public safety agencies when there’s an emergency going on in your neighbourhood. Instead of downloading an app, you register your mobile phone number on the Nixle website. More than 5,000 public safety agencies use it and it’s free to register your phone.
eWeather HD from Elecont Software
eWeather is an extremely detailed weather app that includes alerts for tornado’s, hail, rain and snow. It shows storms on a Google Maps near your location in real time and in high resolution. It’s available for iPhone and Android and priced at $3.99.