Life can come at us fast sometimes. At any moment, we could find ourselves in the middle of the next big natural disaster or in a serious medical situation. As previous natural disasters have shown us, having certain applications on your phone can be the difference between being stranded or being rescued.

Moreover, it can quite simply be the difference between life and death. Here are four Apps that can prove to be life-saving when crisis strikes.

Visual 911+

Invented in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Juan Cienfuegos realized that there was a need for people to signal their location when the sun goes down. Visual 911+ comes with a lot of useful features that can be critical in a life or death situation. You can set up a group of friends and family as your lifeline contacts. When you need to notify them you need help, the App will send them an email containing your general GPS location.

Along with the app comes the Disaster ID App, which enables one to visually signal your location, condition, and group makeup. Naturally, this is only useful as long as you have battery. You should consider getting portable battery packs that way you don’t have to worry about your phone dying.

Medical ID

This App can come in handy in the event you need to identify yourself and share your medical history. To create this, you have to access the pre-installed Health App and follow the setup instructions. Once you do this, the way that your Medical ID can be accessed is by tapping on “Emergency,” or “Emergency Call” on an Android, via the lock screen and the Medical ID will pop up.


If it is just an average week, remembering to fill up your tank is probably a routine for you. However, it is easy to get distracted with other things, especially when you are trying to flee from a disaster area. With the GasBuddy App, you can locate the nearest gas station that is still functioning so that you never have to scramble to find a place to refill your empty tank.


During Hurricane Harvey that flooded Houston and so many surrounding areas, the Nextdoor App rescued a family that had retreated to their roof. Unable to reach 911 emergency responders, and with no one in sight for them to call to their aid, they used the Nextdoor App to post a call for help according to an article published by The Conversation. In under an hour, a neighbor in a canoe came to their rescue.

Be prepared in other ways

You should always be prepared with a disaster kit and not rely solely on an application on your phone. If you don’t have the means to keep your phone charged, or if the network goes down, then you will need to rely on your other preparations. Having extra gasoline, water, nonperishable food, and a medical kit will be your first step in preparing for any future disaster you find yourself in.