For many of us, our cell phone is one of the most important items that we own. It allows us to stay in contact with loved ones, call for help in an emergency, and communicate for business purposes. Since cell phones turned into smartphones, they have been even more important to our daily lives. Due to a large number of apps available for them, they have become a modern Swiss Army Knife, capable of performing a huge range of tasks.
The Best Apps for Preppers and Survival Are:
- CCW App
- FEMA App
- First Aid: American Red Cross
- Apple Books
- Gas Buddy
- Toolbox Pro
- Scanner Radio: Police and Fire
- SAS Survival Guide
- Survival Guide
- Knots 3D
- Prepper Colony
Best Prepper Reference Apps
The phrase “Knowledge is power” is true, especially if you are a prepper. Having accurate information can help keep you safe and out of trouble. Here are the best apps for a prepper to use as references or to organize information.
Most preppers consider firearms to be an essential part of their preps. As such, many of us carry a firearm for personal defense. Unfortunately, traveling with a firearm can become a legal nightmare if you run afoul of local firearm laws.
The CCW App is a very user-friendly app that helps gun owners navigate the complex patchwork of firearms laws that exists across the country. One of my favorite features of the app is that it allows me to quickly see the states that will recognize my handgun carry permit.
Related: 14 Concealed Carry Tips
The CCW App also includes other useful information for each U.S. state, such as transport laws, prohibited areas, and preemption rules. I reference the app while planning my family vacations and any other trip that I may need to take. Although the app has been reliable for me in the past, it is still wise to double-check state and local laws through official websites.
- Click here to find the CCW App in the Apple App Store.
- Click here to find the CCW App in the Google Play Store.
Although preppers make a lot of jokes about FEMA, their app isn’t that bad. One cool feature of the FEMA App is that it allows you to set up alerts for where you live and other areas of personal interest. You can customize these alerts for specific types of emergencies so that you only receive the notices that you want.
The FEMA App also includes safety tips for various types of emergencies, including different types of natural disasters as well as those that are man-made. It also includes a basic emergency kit list which you can add items to. Their list gives new preppers a good place to start, and the ability to create a personal list allows users to customize it to fit their needs.
One of the best features of the app is the ability to set up emergency meeting places. If every member of your family has the app installed on their phone, simply input your meeting places into each phone so that your family members will be able to find the locations easily if needed.
The information found in the FEMA App will be considered basic for most preppers. However, it is a good tool to coordinate preparedness information between family members. It also gives less-preparedness minded loved-ones a good source of helpful information.
First Aid: American Red Cross
Few organizations are better-known for teaching first aid than the American Red Cross. It makes sense that their first aid app would be one for a prepper to have on their phone. It is a great source of educational information covering various types of health emergencies.
The Red Cross First Aid App also includes information that can help you prepare for various types of emergencies. My favorite part of the “Prepare” portion of the app is that it includes links to related first aid information in each topic. For example, the fire section links directly to the portion of the app that covers how to perform first aid on burns.
The app also includes quizzes to test your knowledge as well as a hospital finder. You can allow the app to use your current location or enter a zipcode or city name to find hospitals nearby.
The American Red Cross offers a full line of other apps that a prepper may find useful as well. They include emergency-specific apps for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and several other types of disasters. The Red Cross even offers a first-aid app for pets.
The internet is full of useful PDF documents, many of which are available free for the taking. Such documents could be a valuable source of information for a prepper. However, in order to get the most out of them, they need to be well-organized and easy to navigate. The Apple Books app that comes standard on new iPhones is one of the best apps for a prepper to use with PDF documents they find on the internet.
One of my favorite things about the Apple Books app is that many times, it will keep the table of contents within the document intact. This makes finding content within them much easier, especially when dealing with larger documents. You can also organize your documents into collections, further adding to the app’s organizational value.
Android Alternative to Apple Books
If you use an Android device, the Google Play Books app will do pretty much the same things that the Apple Books App does. In addition, it is available for iOS devices as well. This means that if you have both iOS and Android devices, using the Google Play Books App will allow you to have access to your library on all of your devices, regardless of their operating system.
The only downside that I have found with the Google Play Books app is that it doesn’t retain a table of contents like the Apple Books app does.
Best Prepper Weather and Navigation Apps
A major part of being a prepper is having good situational awareness. It is essential that you know what the weather is doing in your area and in areas you may be traveling to so that you will be prepared to take action if necessary. Preppers should also know how to navigate any area they find themselves in and be prepared to take an alternate path as necessary. Below are the best weather and navigation apps for preppers.
I have also included two other apps in this section, Scanner Radio, and Toolbox Pro. They don’t deal directly with weather or navigation but can help you be more aware of what is going on around you.
I have used several weather apps over the years, but my favorite one is Weatherbug. Like most weather apps, it details current weather conditions, offers hourly and 10-day, forecasts, and weather radar.
What I like about Weatherbug is all of the additional features it contains. For example, in the map portion of the app, you can see more than just the normal weather radar. It has layers that you can use to view pollen levels, lightning, and wind speed. The app also allows you to keep track of the nearest wildfires and the current UV index. These additional features, in my opinion, make it the best weather app for preppers.
Having good navigation advice is important today and will be even more important during an emergency. Being able to avoid hazards and other obstacles will allow you to vacate an affected area quickly and safely. Waze is the perfect app for a prepper to use to navigate in such situations.
Waze relies on user tracking and input to determine traffic patterns in your location. Because of this, it can tell you areas where traffic is moving slowly. Unlike other apps, Waze can even give you a mile-per-hour estimate of the exact speed in which traffic is moving. Users can also send reports to inform other users of crashes, hazards, and police activity.
One of the most popular navigation apps today is the Gas Buddy App. What makes it so unique is that it specializes in helping you find the cheapest gas in your area. The days of feeling frustrated because you fueled up for ten cents more per gallon than you needed to are over. Gas buddy allows you to see the price per gallon for several nearby gas stations and displays them on a map.
Although Gas Buddy’s main purpose is to find the cheapest gas, it can also be used to find gas in unfamiliar areas. If you had to bug out and were running low on fuel in an unfamiliar area, you could use Gas Buddy to find gas stations that may be difficult to locate otherwise. The app will even help you navigate to the gas station you select by sending the station’s location to your phone’s main maps app.
Cost: $3.99 Apple App/$2.49 Google Play
Toolbox Pro allows you to use your phone as a multipurpose measuring tool. In the iOS version, it allows you to use your phone as a protractor, ruler, spirit level, surface level, plumb bob, seismometer, stopwatch, timer, metronome, tesla meter, compass, altimeter, barometer, and a flashlight.
It is important to note that certain features, such as the barometer, will not be available if your phone does not have the necessary hardware. The flashlight feature allows you to use your phone as a regular flashlight as well as a visual and auditory telegraph. You can type your message into the app, and then the app will transmit the message via flashing light and as beeps through the phone’s speaker.
Scanner Radio: Police and Fire
Cost: Free (You can remove ads for an additional cost)
Every prepper should be aware of what is going on around them. This is especially important during an emergency. The Scanner App is a great way for preppers to have an insight into the police activity that is happening in their area. This could help them avoid dangerous areas during an emergency and have additional information to help them determine whether to bug in or bug out.
The Scanner App works by using an internet connection to access a stream of a local law enforcement agency’s radio dispatch. The app will allow you to search for nearby dispatches by using your location as well as by searching for them manually. Being able to search for locations manually can help you have an idea of what is going on in an area if you have loved ones there but can’t contact them.
In addition to being able to access local law enforcement radio dispatches, the Scanner App can also pick to NOAA weather radio and amateur radio signals. The app still plays audio in the background while using other apps, which is a nice feature.
Best Prepper Survival Apps
Although we as preppers hope that we will be able to use our preps to survive an emergency, there may come a time when we must rely on a minimal amount of gear along with our knowledge and skills to survive. Here are the best survival app choices for preppers:
SAS Survival Guide
The SAS Survival Guide by John “Lofty” Wiseman is one of the most popular prepping and survival books in print today. It is a comprehensive collection of information that can help somebody survive in almost any location on Earth. You can find it by clicking here.
The only problem with the print version of the SAS Survival Guide is that is a very large book. It has over 700 pages and is probably at least two inches thick. It isn’t something that you can slip into your back pocket and keep with you everywhere you go.
Fortunately, you can have access to the same information in a much more portable package in the form of the SAS Survival Guide App. Although it is available as a free “Lite” version, I recommend spending the money and purchasing the full version. The full app is the closest that you can get to having one of the best prepper survival guides in existence with you at all times. All of the information, with the exception of videos and extra features, are available without internet access after the app is downloaded.
*Note: The SAS Urban Survival Guide is available as an additional purchase within the app.
One of the first survival apps that I downloaded onto my phone was the Survival Guide app. It is basically a digital version of the U.S. Army FM 21-76 Survival Manual. The thing I like about it is how easy it is to navigate. It also features some color images of plants and venomous snakes. In addition, all information is stored on the device, making an internet connection unnecessary. Overall, this is one of the best apps for a prepper to keep on their phone. Since it is free, there really isn’t any reason not to.
Being able to tie knots properly can make your everyday life much easier. However, in a survival situation, knowing how to tie a few basic knots could save your life or someone else’s. Knots 3D is the best app that I have found when it comes to knot tying.
It currently features a list of 131 knots, each of which includes a description, uses, and an excellent 3D animation that shows how to tie the knot. You can adjust the animation’s speed, which makes learning how to tie the knots much easier. The app’s information is stored on your device, making an internet connection unnecessary during use.
Best Logistic and Organizational Prepper Apps
Being a prepper often means keeping up with a bunch of food, water, gear, and other equipment. Trying to keep all of that information in your head can get really confusing and will probably result in food spoilage and things getting misplaced. Here are some of the best apps that I have found to help a prepper with logistics and organization.
Prepper Colony is a relatively new app that helps preppers keep their supplies organized. The three areas that it focuses on are provisions, weapons, and gear. It also allows you to divide your preps into caches, which you can set locations and descriptions for.
You can add pre-entered items into your inventory or input your own. The most obvious example of when you would need to input your own data is when adding freeze-dried meals to the list. To do this, simply select “new” at the top right corner and add the information based on the product’s label.
A really neat aspect of this app is that it contains a calculator that provides an estimate of how long your food and water supply will last. The calculator bases its estimate on the energy, carbs, protein, and fat values provided for each item.
Like with provisions, you can also keep track of your gear and weapons either by using pre-entered items or adding your own manually.
If you are concerned about privacy while using this app, you can find the maker’s responses to privacy-related questions here.
The 72-Hours app specializes in helping people build their bug out bag. When using the app, you can enter all items manually or allow the app to start your list for you. It will even let you do “add ons” for feminine hygiene items or children. If you choose to do a pre-populated list, you can still customize your checklist with your own items and even your own item categories.
The 72-Hours app also allows you to enter expiration dates for food and medicine. You can even set up notifications to let you know when an item is about to expire.
Although the 72-Hours app is specially-designed to help someone equip bug out bags for themselves and their loved ones, a prepper can use it in other ways also. For example, I made a completely custom list for my cold-weather hunting gear. It helped me make sure that I didn’t leave anything at home before I left.
New apps are being added to the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store every day. If you have a favorite prepper app that I have left off of this list, please add it in the comments below and explain why you like it and how you use it.
A cell phone without power is useless. Because of this, be sure to read my article, How to Charge a Cell Phone During a Power Outage by clicking here. It has several tips and tricks that you can use to keep your phone charged when the power is out or if you are off-grid.