smartphone apps that display weather alerts

Weather apps that help you prepare for severe events

Severe weather events have been on the rise for the past two decades. From hurricane-related wind damage, water damage from torrential rains or property damage from wildfires, severe weather is a growing concern to everyone living in coastal or high-risk areas.

While you can’t completely escape severe weather, you can take precautions to minimize the risks of home damage and reduce insurance claims. And even though Mother Nature can be unpredictable, there are several apps that provide forecasts and early warning alerts to predict and prepare for severe weather before it strikes.

Here are a few of our favorites.

The Weather Channel (Free)
The Weather Channel (Android, iOS) app provides live radar, weather maps, forecast updates for severe weather and an accurate storm tracker. With local weather reports, you’ll be prepared for what’s ahead: tornado, rain, hail and more. The app provides accurate weather forecasts up to 15 days in advance, so you can plan ahead with confidence.

Weather Underground (Free)
Weather Underground (Android, iOS) is a reliable, real-time, hyper-local forecast that can warn you about upcoming severe weather. The app combines data from over 250,000+ personal weather stations and a proprietary forecast model to give you the most accurate and hyperlocal forecasts. Get information about current conditions, interactive NEXRAD radar, customizable severe weather alerts and much more. (Free)
Windy (Android, iOS) is a fast, intuitive, detailed and accurate weather app trusted by professional pilots, storm chasers, weather geeks and rescue teams. Whether you’re tracking a tropical storm or potential severe weather, planning a trip, pursuing your favorite outdoor sport, or you just need to know if it will rain this weekend, Windy provides you with the most up-to-date weather forecast around.

RadarScope ($9.99)
RadarScope (Android, iOS) allows weather enthusiasts and meteorologists to view NEXRAD Level 3 and super-resolution radar data along with tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood, special marine and snow squall warnings, and predicted storm tracks issued by the U.S. National Weather Service.

Disaster Alert (Free)
Disaster Alert (Android, iOS) offers near-real-time updates for about 18 different types of active hazards, including hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, floods, wildfires, tornados and winter storms. You can customize early warning alerts, view situational analysis reports and access modeled hazard impacts for select dangers in a single, easy-to-use map interface.


Don’t forget about federal resources

Another way to stay on top of hurricane-related threats is the National Hurricane Center (NHC), available at The NHC’s mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these threats.

In addition to tracking severe weather events, the NHC can also help you prepare for hurricane season. Learn how to:

  • Determine your risk
  • Develop an evacuation plan
  • Assemble disaster supplies
  • Conduct an insurance checkup
  • Strengthen your home
  • And more

In addition to the NHC, the Storm Prediction Center, a part of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), uses innovative science and technology to deliver timely and accurate watch and forecast for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, lightning, wildfires and winter weather to protect lives and property.

The NOAA also provides weather radios. Before you dismiss this as an antiquated device, remember, you may be without power to charge your go-to wireless devices. NOAA weather radios run on batteries and can alert you while you are sleeping so you can take shelter.


Protect your home from damage

With advance warning systems and forecasting tools, you’ll know about many weather events before they impact your home. But that’s only part of being ready. There are various ways to prepare your home for natural disasters to minimize damage and mitigate loss. From hurricane preparation to wildfire readiness, conducting regular maintenance, investing in specialized products and having an action plan can protect you and your most valued asset: your home.

You can’t avoid Mother Nature, but thanks to these innovative apps and practical tips, you can be ready if she comes knocking.