As Missy Elliot would say, time to get your freak (out) on. Betabeat’s cabbie earlier today explained that he was from the Dominican Republic and would be battenting down the hatches at his house in Queens with techniques passed down in his family through the generations.
For those of you without tropical storms in your pedigree, here are a few must-have apps that will help you get through what must be the only week in New York City history to feature both an earthquake and a hurricane.
1) Hurricane HD: For $2.99 you can track Irene in high def as she barrels towards your borough. Betabeat recommends using the Boxee app to get this puppy up and running on the biggest screen in your house.
2) Foodspotting: It’s day six without power and you’ve run out of Ramen. You’re hearing reports over IRC chat that a cache of gourmet catfood has been discovered nearby and is being prepared as delicious tacos. Should you venture outside in search of sustenance? Pics or didn’t happen.
3) Emergency Radio Free: This free version of the easy-to-use radio scanner can stream police, fire, emergency, and HAM signals from all over the world. It has a pretty simple interface for tracking down the station you need (New York City NOAA Weather Radio) and even gives you a crib sheet on what particular codes mean that regularly are heard on the channel. It’s good in an emergency for knowing when the next helicopter is going to circle past your brownstone, and it’s also fun in a voyeuristic way to listen to police scanners.
4) Foursquare: The only way to really experience a natural disaster is to check in to one on Foursquare. If you’re going to lose your house, at least earn a badge.
5) Emergency First Aid and Treatment Guide: Covers the basics of dealing with a choking victim, fear and panic or a flesh wound.
6) Zaarly: While Betabeat hasn’t had a lot of success with this service yet, a hurricane seems like a real sellers market. If you’re brave and looking to make a little extra cash, this is the place to find work delivering rations to the housebound and hungry.
7) Home Inventory on iOS / My Home Pro on Android: The quickest way to start filing insurance claims is to have itemized, photographic evidence of the before and after.
8) Uber: Your car’s underwater and your bike is probably out of the question. Put down those rollerblades and let an Uber cab rescue you. Sure it’s a little pricey, but this is a special occasion.
9) Battery Pro Boost Magic: Since you may not have a way to charge your phone if the power goes out, go ahead and download Battery Pro Boost Magic ($.99). This app gives you ways to conserve power, helps you extend battery life, and gives you a better estimate of remaining battery life. It also has some cool bonus features, like a tool that cycles your screen through a test pattern of colors so you can see where dirt, smudges, scratches and other wear has appeared on your screen. This one has far reaching use beyond the Hurricane, but it will give you some help in waiting out any blackouts.
10) GroupMe: In the post-apocolyptic New York that we’ll emerge into next week, only the strong will survive. Tribal loyalty is key, and there is not better way to keep in touch with your clan than the current king of group texting apps.