The best ways to track Irene using your computer and phone

Live on the East Coast? Well, just because there's a storm a-comin', that doesn't mean you have to wait for it blindly. Here are some ways to keep tabs on Irene.

On The Web

  • New York Times Hurricane Tracker — The cleanest and easiest way to see a snapshot of Irene right now.
  • NOAA Hurricane Center — More information than NYT, this is your resource from the U.S. gov's National Weather Service and includes alerts.
  • Google Crisis Dashboard — Google, gotta love 'em, has boiled all that NOAA info into an easy-to-use page that has added features you can toggle, such as cloud cover, alerts and even evacuation routes.
  • Ready.gov Checklist — Ready.gov isn't to track Hurricane Irene, but it has plenty of information about how to be prepared and what supplies would be handy to have around.
  • NASA Earth Observatory — Some Irene info, but really this is your one-stop-shop for big, swirly pictures of the storm.

On Mobile Devices

  • The Weather Channel (iOS, Android) — The Weather Channel app is a good way to get a general snapshot of how things are shaping up in your area, and it's available for pretty much every platform, including BlackBerry and Windows 7.
  • FEMA App (iOS, Android) — The official Federal Emergency Management Agency app, you can find preparedness info, maps, alerts and other handy details (such as the locations of evacuation and disaster recovery sites) here.
  • NOAA Streaming Radar (iOS-only) — A continually updating radar view of what's going on, you can see the storm evolve in real time, and plan accordingly with alerts from the National Weather Service. Android users can get a version with just alerts here.
  • RadarScope (iOS, Android) — There's a pretty stiff fee for access here ($10, which is pricey for an app to begin with), but if you're comfortable with a minimalist interface and a deluge of data this is the app for you. NOAA alerts, detailed storm information, local weather updates, radar data. It's all in there.
  • Nixle — iOS users can access Nixle as an app, but anyone can use the service to received text message alerts that are tailored to your area.
  • Pocket First Aid Guide (iOS, Android) — Provided by the American Heart Association, this is just a handy app to have hurricane or no. The Android version lacks some of the features provided by the iOS offering, but both provide valuable first aid information. The app even played a part in "saving the life of a victim trapped under rubble for some 65 hours," according to PC Mag.

Here's hoping you won't need any of these things over the weekend, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Have some favorite of your own? Toss them in the comments below.

Via PCWorld and Gizmodo and PC Mag

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