The Daily App: Winter Survival Kit -- Saves You In an Emergency
Winter sucks -- unpredictable snow storms, bad road traffic and endless shoveling, plowing and then shoveling again. But apps can make the rocky season a bit more manageable, and even save your life in a worst-case scenario.
What's the App?
"Winter Survival Kit," available free for both iOS and Android, is a weather emergency app for the information age: it keeps all your important information in one place, and if you're stuck in the middle of a snowstorm, it locates your position and connects you to first responders.
Some features are basic: it call 911 and send out notifications to loved ones, as well pinpoint your exact location. It also stores roadside assistance numbers and keeps track of your insurance policies. If you're stranded, a calculator can estimate the amount of time and fuel you have left to run your engine.
You can set alerts to remind you to turn off the engine at intervals to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning -- a lifesaving feature. It also reminds you to check the exhaust for snow buildup -- an important factor since the small space can fill up with deadly gas.
It can also show you the nearest gas station, but some places report comically inaccurate locations -- like New York if you're in Michigan.
The bare-bones design and interface is utilitarian on purpose. It doesn't have the most accurate navigation, but Winter Survival Kit is useful enough in an emergency. Hopefully you won't need it, but if you do, instructions are laid out clearly after you hit the giant red "I'm Stranded" button.
You'll Want It If...
You want to be ready for any emergency -- or safe on a road trip. Winter Survival Kit isn't perfect, but it's a nice safeguard on your phone.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Preparing yourself is well and good, but sometimes you just want to avoid the snow. You can't make it disappear, but "Snow School," a $1 iOS app can predict snow days for the year. The app draws from live weather forecasts and historical school data to predict when your school will have a snow day.
It only predicts in about 18 to 20 states, but it's adding schools and districts. If your school is on the list, it's a helpful app, even if it's just to set your alarm clock a bit earlier to shovel the driveway.
No app can make the sun come out, but to pass the winter malaise with a spot of light, you can create a cozy feeling with Fireplace HD+ on your iPad. There's no real warmth, of course, but the flickering fire on a crystal-clear display is lovely, especially during the long winter nights. ♦
Categories: The Daily App | Utilities