April 28

10 “MacGyver” Ways to Turn Your Smart Phone Into Your Best Survival Tool



In an emergency, a smartphone can quickly become your best survival tool. Notably, our cell phones are now our constant companions. My cell phone is never far away. It’s part of my everyday carry or EDC.

Surfing the internet, I found several ways to use a smart phone as an essential item in my emergency survival tool kit. What follows are ten ways you can use your cell phone in an emergency.

Also, take a look at the links I’ve included; they lead to lifesaving information that could save your’s or someone else’s life in a crunch. When I was a Boy Scout, I carried a Swiss Army Knife. I like to think of my smartphone as a 21st century Swiss Army Knife without the blade. I also carry some type of knife everywhere I go as part of my EDC, but that’s for another post. Okay friends, let’s talk about using a smart phone in a crunch.fireman-100722_1280

How To Use Your Smart Phone As A Survival Tool

1)  First things first, If your smart phone’s battery is dead, it’s not completely useless.  But it’s far more useful if it’s charged and ready to go. Most emergency advice recommends that you be able to survive for a minimum of three days completely on your own as far as food and water go. I am also going to include smartphones into that equation.

In an emergency, if your phone is undamaged, you need to be able to use it for a minimum of three days, with the electricity being out. How do you keep your phone charged if the power is out? One solution is to use the GOOLOO 600A Peak Car Jump Starter\Portable Phone Power Bank If you have one of these chargers, you’ll be able to keep your phone charged or jumpstart your car. Another less expensive option is to use AA batteries and the iGo powerXtender Universal Battery Operated Charger. This charger will keep your phone charged up as long as you have AA batteries.

2)  Second, there are a lot of everyday situations when I wished I had a flashlight handy,—- dropped keys outside at night, lost money in a theater ect.—-. A  flashlight could be crucial in an urgent situation. If the power goes out and you’re at home, hopefully, you have several flashlights available, but what if you’re not at home? Some smartphones have a flashlight already built into the native software, if this is the case, then you don’t need to download an app for that. But if you don’t have a flashlight app on your phone you need to download one. My favorite is Privacy Flashlight. I like it because it’s simple to run, doesn’t have ads and is spyware free. Many flashlight apps contain very nasty spyware.Tree down emergency



3)  In a disaster, you may need to leave your home in a hurry. You can use your smartphone to safely store all of your important documents.

One thing every disaster kit should have is a set of your important documents. These include copies of things like IDs, birth certificates, or escape routes. While you want to keep those physical copies, you also want to keep a digital backup. If you want to store those files in the cloud, we’d recommend doing so with an encrypted Dropbox folder. Then, just grab a copy of the Dropbox mobile app so you’ll have access to them from anywhere, even if you can’t get to you computer. Likewise, you can keep a hard copy of those documents on your phone as well. Just make sure you have something to view them with (a free e-reader app like Kindle will do the trick).



4)  Bsafe gives anyone using the app an extra layer of security when they are out and about. When you first open the app, you set up a personal network of “guardians.”  In the case of an emergency or crime just press the apps alarm button, and Bsafe will alert your guardians that you’re in danger, and give them your exact location, it will also start recording audio and video. You can even program Bsafe to call you with a fake call, the next time you have to get out of a date early. Very impressive for a free app.tornado-1193184_1280


5)  In any large-scale emergency, you are going to have injury and accidents. You will need to know what steps to take, especially if help can’t come right away. The American Red Cross has a splendid application called First-aid that is very informative. It will walk you through many situations and tell you exactly what to do using step-by-step instructions, videos, and preventive safety tips. Download this today; you never know when you may need it.


6)  The next app I’m going to include in this post, The Real Time CPR Guide could save someone’s life. It covers how to do some things not covered in the Red Cross First Aid App. This is an excellent reference for someone who has had earlier CPR training but is rusty and has forgotten a few things. It also tells you what to do in real-time for heart attack, choking, electrocution, smoke inhalation, drowning, and poisoning.


7)  If you are not at home, or maybe you’re just at the amusement park with the family, you don’t want to get lost. A compass is useful for this. I recommend Smart Compass by Smart Tools Co. It is easy to use and uncomplicated.Moore Ok Emergency survival


8)  A map would be great to go along with that compass. If you know that you are going to be somewhere, where internet service will be spotty; you can download a map from Google Maps ahead of time. You can find instructions for how to do that here.



9)  In a disaster situation, it would be nice to know what is going on around you. Well, you can do just that with an app called Scanner Radio by GordonEdwards.net LLC. You can use this app to listen in on police and fire departments from around the world.hurricane-katrina-180538_12


10)  While researching this post, I discovered the U.S. Army Survival Guide in Googles AppStore. I downloaded it, and it’s going to stay on my phone. The guide is a wonderful reference and has a lot of information about what to do in a catastrophe. It details things like how to handle the psychological stresses of being lost, how to prepare a survival kit, and much, much more.

In an emergency, the government will also use the Emergency Alert System to keep people informed. See below.

Emergency Alert System

Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. This page describes different warning alerts you can receive and the types of devices that receive the alerts.

For more information see the Federal Governments site Ready, Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed.


All of the applications I named are installed on my Samsung Note. The Note runs on Android. Folks out there with iPhones and even iPads should be able to find the same or equivalent applications in the Apple App Store.

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or any other person. Through this site and linkages to other websites, Familyopolis provides general information for educational purposes only. The information supplied by this site, or through linkages to other web pages, is not a substitute for medical or professional care.

I would love to hear from you. Email me at davidk@familypolis.com and let me know if you found this information useful.

Have a wonderful day. God be with you until we meet again!


disasters, power outage, smart phones, survival, survival apps

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