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8 Smartphone Safety Apps That Could Save Your Life

Emergency software that can provide severe-weather alerts, medical tips, tracking and more

smartphone showing safety apps on its screen and wearing a miniature ring buoy life preserver

Illustration by Chad Hagen; prop stylist: Brian Byrne

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1. Safe

This voice-activated SOS system sends your location to your selected contacts and automatically streams and records emergency video. Features a built-in siren.

Android, iOS; free

2. Cairn

A safety app for hikes that shares your planned route with loved ones, it also calculates your estimated time of arrival, based on your speed and elevation change, for thousands of popular trails. Cairn allows you to download maps that point out where cell service is available, even when you're off the grid.

Android, iOS; free

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3. Dark Sky Weather

Provides hyperlocal weather info for the next hour. Don't get caught in a storm!

iOS; $3.99/lifetime

4. First Aid by American Red Cross

Contains valuable info on what to do in any common first-aid emergency. Also download free Red Cross apps for emergency weather alerts and expert advice for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

Android, iOS; free

5. Medisafe Medication Reminder

Get alerts on your phone for when to take your medication or supplements and when your supplies are running low. Caregivers get real-time missed-medication alerts. The app also warns of potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Android, iOS; free

6. ICE Medical Standard

It's like a medical alert bracelet on your smartphone's lock-screen display, informing first responders of your conditions, allergies, medications and emergency medical contact information.

Android, iOS; free

7. Noonlight

Silently calls for help to your exact location with the tap of a button. A trained operator at Noonlight's monitoring center will text and call you to verify the alarm. If you can't talk or don't respond, Noonlight sends 911 an alert that includes GPS location, profile information and even a picture of you.

Android, iOS; free

8. Snug Safety

Made for people who live alone, this app checks on you at a time of day you select. You press a green check mark on the app and receive a quote of the day. If you fail to check in, your emergency contacts are notified.

Android, iOS; free

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