Worried about Irene’s Visit? 8 Hurricane Tracking Apps to Keep Tabs on the Storm

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REUTERS/NOAA/National Environment Satellite

Irene captured by the GOES-East satellite on August 25, 2011.

As you prepare the rain gears and stock up on emergency food and water, don’t forget get your smartphones out. A little bit of tech savvy can help keep you safe.

Unfortunately, Irene shows no signs of dying out. National Weather Service has expanded hurricane warning to N.J, just north of New York City and issued hurricane warnings further north to Nantucket Mass. Major weather agencies advise to stay alert for the latest weather forecast. Download your smartphone and tablet apps as you ready yourself for the face-off with the strongest hurricane the East Coast has seen in years.

(PHOTOS: U.S. East Coast Battens Down as Hurricane Irene Approaches)

Starting with the free apps, The Weather Channel offers animated weather and radar maps as well as severe weather alerts and forecasts for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. Global Alert Network app, which delivers hands-free weather and traffic alerts, is downloadable on all the apple devices, Android and Blackberry.

For those willing to scale up from the basics, there are some affordable options. You can access the federal agency, NOAA‘s radar on its app ($1.99), which offers high resolution displays as well as GPS, for the apple devices. Android users can get Sea Storm ($2.99) to access the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) updates. Hurricane Apple users can watch videos of current and historic storms such as Andrew and Katrina on Hurricane ($2.99) and Hurricane HD ($3.99) in addition to getting all the NHC information.

(PHOTOS: The Deadliest Hurricanes in U.S. History)

If you plan to really gear up for the worst, get Disaster Caster ($5.99) which in case of emergency will give you step-by-step safety instructions while notifying your GPS location to 911. It also comes in handy in other life threatening situations such as earthquakes and terror attacks. You can listen to the local radio forecast on iMap Weather Radio ($9.99), which will alert with voice and text messages in extreme weather events. Both are only for the apple devices, though iMap Radio Android is coming soon.

The most important smartphone tip? Keep it dry.

SPECIAL: Top 10 Natural Disasters