Top 5 Apps for Emergencies
March 16, 2023
Top 5 Apps for Emergencies

Technology can be your friend in a survival situation.  Like perfectly packing for a camping trip, making sure your phone is loaded with information and tools that can help is an important consideration before you embark on any adventure.  I went through my phone and picked out the TOP 5 apps I recommend you have ready to go at all times, in case of an emergency situation. 

Garmin Earthmate / Somewear Labs
Two apps that basically do the same things that I think are super important - provide mapping, communication and SOS when you’re out of cell service.  
  • SOS: Being able to signal for help quickly is literally a life-saver.  And whether you were careful or not doesn’t matter when your life is on the line - push the button and get help fast.
  • Communication: Maybe you’re not in a life or death situation, but you need to alert someone of changing plans, danger, etc.  Or maybe you just want to chat after spending a week alone in the backcountry.  Communication is everything, and we have the technology, so use it. 
  • Mapping: This one of my favorite features of my Garmin is ‘Back To Start’.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve questioned where I was in relation to my vehicle, and instead of going the wrong direction, I turned on ‘back to start’ and my watch guided me home.  

A bit of redundancy with the Garmin/Somewear apps, but I love OnX for its ease of use and the additional features it offers over the others.  
  • 3D mapping is a great tool when you can’t quite translate what the relief lines are saying. 
  • Showing slope angles and avalanche areas is super valuable when in the backcountry in winter.
  • Easily plot out a path in high resolution and auto-sync it to your app - a massive time saver for long expeditions. 
  • Marking waypoints or points of interest with different colors and icons helps tremendously when you’re quickly looking for a specific thing (use blue to identify water, red to identify danger, etc)
  • Downloading high-res maps that work when you’re offline gives you a level of detail not previously available. 
SAS Survival Guide
  • I love having instruction on hand.  Many times, you’ll second guess yourself in an adrenaline packed situation, and being able to follow step-by-step instructions can create peace of mind that can change an entire situation.  This app is FULL of tips, tricks, and so much more.  It’s like having a 200 page survival guide tucked in your phone. 

  • A partner of Uncharted, GOES offers quick connection to trained medical professionals at the click of a button.  Just imagine you are in an emergency situation, and you can FaceTime a doctor to walk you through what to do!  It’s a game-changer and something everyone should have on their phone.  When offline, there is an immense amount of data that is accessed through an AI bot to help guide you to the right response for the emergency. 

  • The FEMA app is the go-to for real-time weather alerts and natural disaster preparation. You can set custom alerts for hazardous oncoming weather, as well as where to find shelter or or recovery centers in the case of an emergency.  
  • There are endless emergency prep tips listed on this app - specific information for any natural disaster you could name. Not all of these are common knowledge; it’s good to brush up before the lightning strikes. 
Bonus app (but maybe the most important): SPOTIFY
  • Maybe an unlikely entry, but hear me out.  So much of getting through a tough time is positive mental attitude.  And I don’t know anything that can so quickly change the mood, as your favorite song. It’s literally scientifically proven!  So whether you’re holed up and waiting for help, or you need that extra motivation to hike out of somewhere difficult, having your favorite playlist blasting can make a difference.