You never know when disaster might strike. While you can never fully prepare for every threat, these emergency apps can give you a way to find help or get information that could save your life.
Best Emergency Apps
Emergency apps let you contact authorities as well as friends and family for help in an emergency. Aside from call and text notification features, most of them offer location tracking, so responders know where to find you. Below is a list of the best apps to use in case of an emergency.
ICE Contact (Free)
If you’ve ever been afraid to go on a walk at night, the In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact app will give you some peace of mind. This app lets you send alerts to your contacts when you’re in danger.
You can create instant messages and send to your contacts with the tap of a button. Your instant messages will include a personal note and your GPS location, so your emergency contacts will know where to find you.
If you are going on a journey, you can use delayed messages to send out an emergency text message after a certain amount of time has passed. If you do not cancel the message before the timer runs out, your contacts will receive the text message you created. You can also enable GPS tracking, which will allow your ICE contacts to see a map with your GPS location history. ICE contacts will get your message via an in-app notification, text message, or email.
Medical ID (Free and Premium Versions)
Medical ID makes your medical information accessible from your phone’s home screen. When you double-tap the widget, your profile pops up with helpful information like height, weight, blood type, allergies, and any other medical conditions you have. The app also lets you assign emergency contacts and send them SMS alerts. The premium version lets you customize the text that appears on the lock screen.
Medical ID is only available for Android users.
Kitestring (Free or $3 monthly plan)
Kitestring checks in on you via text messages and sends a customizable message to your emergency contacts if you don’t respond. Since it’s an SMS-based service, there’s no app to download. You just set up an account online, even if you don’t have a smartphone.
You can then choose how often Kitestring checks up on you when you step out. You can check in early or extend your trip for up to an hour. You have the option to set a secure check-in word so no one else can pretend to check in as you. You can also check in with an emergency code, which will send an alert to your emergency contacts.
Kitestring is available for any kind of mobile phone.
The Red Panic Button app gives you an emergency button widget on your phone’s lock screen that you can tap in case you need help. You can send a panic message via SMS, email, or Twitter, and your emergency contacts will receive a Google Maps link of your location.
The Emergency Dial feature lets you call an emergency contact number while simultaneously sending a panic message to your contacts. The app offers smartwatch integration for the Pebble and Apple Watch.
Getting a caller’s exact location is critical in an emergency. However, outdated 911 services make it difficult to do this. With SirenGPS, you will be able to call 911 with the tap of a button and provide them with your exact location.
This will allow responders to find you faster than if you called 911. Responders will also know whether they are dealing with a fire, medical, or crime-related emergency. They will also have your personal and medical information even before arriving on the scene. While you can tap the emergency panic button wherever you are in the world, the app is only fully functional in communities that subscribe to SirenGPS.
Life360 (Free with In-App Purchases)
Life360 is a location-sharing app that lets you monitor your family members’ whereabouts in real-time. Parents and children can create a private circle where they can have group chats and receive notifications when family members arrive at frequently visited places.
The premium version of the app offers Driver Protect, which has a crash detection feature that notifies family members about car accidents and dispatches 911 responders. You also get 24/7 roadside assistance for towing, jumpstarts, flat tires, and more. Family members can also get alerts for unsafe driving behaviors, like texting while driving, hard braking, rapid acceleration, and speeding.
FEMA App (Free)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered with Ambit Group to create the FEMA app. Users can get real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Users can then share real-time alerts through text, email, or social media.
You can get emergency safety tips for weather events, terrorism incidents, wildfires, and more. The app includes a list of suggested items for your emergency supply kit. It also provides you with addresses and directions to emergency shelters in your state, city, or county.
Emergencies are not limited to accidents, medical injuries, or natural disasters. Sometimes, they involve mental health issues too. My3 helps people with suicidal thoughts get help from their safety network of three emergency contacts. With one tap, users can call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to talk to a trained counselor.
The app also helps users create a safety plan by identifying the warning signs, coping strategies, and distractions that will help them deal with mental health issues.
Best Emergency Skills for Alexa
Some emergencies happen when you’re away from your phone. But if you have a smart assistant like Amazon Alexa, you can still get help. Below are the best Alexa skills to have in case of an emergency.
Ask My Buddy (Free with In-Skill Purchases)
With Ask My Buddy, you can alert one or more of your contacts that you need help. You can say, “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert [John Doe],” or “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to send help.” Then Ask My Buddy will send an alert to your contacts via text message, email, or voice call.
Guardian Circle (Free)
Guardian Circle lets you choose an unlimited number of contacts as Guardians. Just say, “Alexa, tell Guardian Circle I have an emergency!” Then all of your Guardians will be notified and brought to an Alert Room on their phone. There, they will have access to a map that shows your location and your other Guardians’ locations as well. Guardians can quickly communicate in a chat room to come up with a plan to get you out of harm’s way.
My SOS Family Skill ($3.49/month; $34/year)
The My SOS Family Skill enables members of your SOS network to be alerted via text message, email, or a phone call even if they don’t have the app. You can trigger the alert by saying, “Alexa, open My SOS Family and send for help.” When someone on your SOS network comes to assist you, everyone else gets a notification that help has arrived.
Noonlight, formerly SafeTrek (Free)
If you do not have contacts nearby to help you, you can use the skill to contact certified emergency responders. When you say “Alexa, tell Noonlight to send help!” your command will be routed to a 5-Diamond-certified call center. Noonlight agents will then call 911. They will share an online dashboard of your critical information gathered from Alexa and other connected devices, such as your location and health data.
Being proactive helps you deal with emergencies better. This way, you can possibly save yourself and others from danger.
If you want to know other things Alexa can do, check out our previous blog on the best Alexa skills.