You’ve hoarded bread, water and toilet paper in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, but the modern emergency kit isn’t complete without a well-stocked smartphone. Along with the Capital Weather Gang, whom you can follow on Twitter, these seven apps can help you track the weather, pass the time and even find a shelter in case of the worst. Just make sure to charge your phone before Sandy hits D.C. on Sunday night.
Hurricane Tracker ($1.99, iPhone): Anything and everything you’d want to know about a hurricane, from push alerts and tracking maps to “detailed written discussions” and the storm’s history. The app also includes video and audio updates on the storm. Other options: Hurricane Hound (free), Hurricane ($2.99)
iMap Weather Radio ($9.99, iPhone, Google, Android): Local weather forecasts and alerts, with a couple of cool features: the app’s battery management settings will keep it from draining your phone if the power’s off, and audio alerts warn even sleeping users about impending storms. Other options: Storm Shield ($4.99), Accuweather (free)
Disaster Readiness ($1.49, Google; $1.29, Android; $1.99, Blackberry and iPhone): Everything you’d ever Google in an emergency, just in case that emergency cuts your Internet off. Topics range from what to do if you’re caught in a thunderstorm to how to purify water and stock your emergency kit. Other options: Disaster Preparedness Guide (free), First Aid (free)
TuneIn Radio (Free, iPhone, Android, Blackberry): Listen to local radio for weather news or distraction from the rain. TuneIn plays more than 70,000 stations, from WTOP to the BBC. Other options: Slacker Radio (free), NPR News (free)
Flashlight (Free, iPhone): Turn your phone’s camera flash into a flashlight, just in case you left candles out of your storm stockpile. Similar apps exist for Android phones.
Dark Sky ($3.99, iPhone): Down-to-the-minute predictions of when it will rain or snow near you. Less practically (but more entertainingly), Dark Sky also lets you watch beautiful radar animations of cloud movements in your area.
Monopoly, Life and Uno ($.99 each, iPhone): Classic board games reinvented for iPhone and iPad play. They may not be quite as fun as the originals, but they while away stormy days just as well. Other options: Words With Friends (free)
American Red Cross Shelter View (free, iPhone): A real-time map of Red Cross shelters in your area – just in case. The app includes information like shelter capacity and vacancy, which get updated more frequently during disasters.