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7 Best Severe Weather Warning Apps

When you need real-time storm and severe weather alerts, these are the seven best severe weather warning apps to have at your fingertips.

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Snow And Sleet, Semi Jackknife
Snow and sleet, semi jackknife, snow in Illinois

Why Weather Apps Are Essential

Severe weather alert apps are like having a meteorologist in your pocket, warning you about weather changes in real time to keep you and your property safe.

These seven apps let you keep tabs on your current location, which is helpful for pinpointing isolated storms, while also bookmarking multiple locations to watch out for friends and family. You can also customize the alerts so you’re not getting, say, blizzard warnings in Florida or tsunami warnings in Nebraska. With these apps, you can stay informed and be confident that no weather event will catch you unaware.

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Emergency: Alerts

Operating Systems (OS): Apple and Android.

Cost: Free.

Emergency: Alerts is from the American Red Cross. It warns you about upcoming severe weather and also keeps you safe during a severe weather event. You and your loved ones can let each other know that you’re safe and sound and look up nearby Red Cross shelters. The app comes with a flashlight, strobe light, and audible alarm.

This app also features preloaded content that’s accessible without an internet connection, giving you peace of mind when you need it most. The American Red Cross also offers apps specifically for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods if you prefer to zero in on these emergency events.

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WeatherBug

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: Free, with in-app purchase options.

WeatherBug gets top marks for the depth of its data and update speed, with thunderstorm alerts that claim to ping you in half the time of other apps. The alerts come with preparedness tips and potential impacts of severe weather on nature and wildlife.

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Storm Shield

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: Free, with subscription-based upgrade options.

Storm Shield gives you alerts for your current location (versus your home address/city/county) so you receive applicable and timely alerts for just about any kind of life- or property-threatening weather event. You can customize your alerts to almost ridiculously specific levels (volcanoes are an option), including advisory level.

The app’s alerts come in text and voice format, making them impossible to ignore. You can also track conditions in up to five locations and overlay different types of data on the map, so you can keep tabs on friends and family near and far.

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Storm Radar

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: Free.

Storm Radar is The Weather Channel’s severe weather app. It’s one of the few apps to include lightning trackers and alerts for free. Storm Radar works well for hurricanes and tornadoes because you not only get real-time alerts, you can track the unpredictable paths of these storms to stay out of their way.

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FEMA

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: Free.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app is perfect for people who purely want alerts for every kind of severe weather event possible, without maps, radar, or data points to analyze. Just put in up to five locations and customize alerts for dozens of weather events and advisory types, and then you’ll get text alerts in real-time. The app also provides storm preparedness tips and resources, including links for filing a flood claim.

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Alert FM

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: $9.99.

Alert FM will give you voice and text alerts for more than 100 severe weather and advisory types of your choice for up to five stored locations and your current location. You can also track severe weather in real-time on the animated radar and text snapshots of the radar to alert your friends who may be in the path of severe weather. Alert FM will also announce evacuations and shelter locations.

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AlertSense

OS: Apple and Android.

Cost: Free.

AlertSense lets you bookmark specific addresses and set quiet hours so only emergency alerts and severe weather warnings are sent with sound. All other less urgent notifications will be on silent. You can also toggle between a list view and map view for the alerts if you’ve got locations bookmarked all over the country.

Veronica Graham
Veronica Graham is a freelance writer in Arlington, Mass. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and SheKnows. She's covered health, politics, high school football and everything in between. Graham enjoys learning about the world through a variety of lenses as a reporter.

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