Hurricanes Harvey and Irma didn’t threaten Long Island, but with the Atlantic hurricane season not officially ending until Nov. 30, there’s plenty of time for a major storm to hit the region.

These apps were among the most downloaded by people in areas affected by Harvey and Irma, and they could serve Long Islanders well if a major storm bears down.


(iOS, Android; free)

This formerly little-known app skyrocketed in popularity to become the No. 1 free app for iOS and Android as Irma tore into Florida. Zello turns your phone into an old-fashioned “push-to-talk” walkie-talkie where you can quickly connect with people on “channels,” which are typically devoted to one topic. During Harvey and Irma, dedicated channels were set up so those in the storms’ paths and emergency workers could get instant updates.

Gas Buddy

(iOS, Android; free)

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A go-to app for everyday drivers, commuters and vacationers, Gas Buddy became a lifeline — and maybe a lifesaver — during the hurricanes. The app, which lists prices at gas stations based on drivers’ experiences, asked its users to add information about gas stations that had no fuel or power during the hurricanes “to assist others who are searching for gas.”

Hurricane Tracker

(iOS, Android; free)

You probably have a weather app on your mobile device, but this one from The Weather Channel has one main purpose: tracking the path and effects of hurricanes and other severe storms. Hurricane Tracker includes Doppler radar maps and severe weather alerts based on your location. No hurricane imminent? You can also get daily and hourly forecasts.


(iOS, Android; free)

In a worst-case scenario, this app may give you the best tools to survive. The official app from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice on what you should do before, during and after a hurricane, including tips on items you should have in an emergency kit. If you have to evacuate, there’s information on nearby shelters. After the storm, the app can direct you to FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers, where you can apply for assistance.