11 apps for surviving natural disasters

It's shark week on TV, but for many of us danger is closer to home. Summer is the season for tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires -- do you know what to do in case of emergency? Boost your chances of survival with our top 11 natural disaster apps. (And if you want to keep an eye on the sharks anyway, try Expedition White Shark for iOS or Global Shark Tracker for iOS and Android.)


Earth Alerts ( Windows)

Don't get caught in a hurricane. Add your location in premier weather-watching app Earth Alerts, and you'll get up-to-the-minute reports … Read more

Flood -- American Red Cross review

Floods are among nature's most destructive disasters, but you can be prepared in advance with the free Flood app for Android by the American Red Cross. This free app teaches (and quizzes) you about floods, how to prepare for them, and what to do when flooding occurs. It delivers flood alerts and disaster notifications, finds shelters, and even helps you notify worried family members that you're safe.


Flood warning: Customizable Alerts and Notifications let you know when it's time to head for high ground.

Educational: Learn about what causes floods, famous historical floods, and other flood-related … Read more

Flood by American Red Cross review

Flood by American Red Cross is a resource app that helps you plan what to do in the event of a flood in your area and in the aftermath. There is a lot of useful information in this app, and you can test your mastery through built-in quizzes.


Notifications and planning: This app is both a resource that you can study ahead of time, so you know what to do in the event of a flood and a reference guide to make sure you're informed and aware when one occurs. You can use the app to create a … Read more

The 404 1,282: Where the water is rising (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Apple banned from selling some iPhones and iPads after Samsung patent win.

- Aunt Jill on LinkedIn: What I Learned in Italy (or, Economies in Perspective).

- Venice floods put more than half of city underwater.

- GameStop to recall 8GB Wii U Basic -- but why?

- Forget what you know, next-gen consoles change everything.

- The Last of Us is now the best reason to own a PS3.

- Game over for used games: How Xbox One and PS4 could gut gamers' wallets.… Read more

Google Person Finder helping to find missing in Philippine floods

The recent flooding in the Philippines has left many people stranded or missing. Now Google is using its Person Finder to aid in the search.

Person Finder is aimed at connecting missing persons with their loved ones. Anyone who is looking for a lost person or has information about someone who's been found can use the Person Finder page to post that person's name.

If you're looking for someone who's missing, you can enter the person's name or at least parts of the name. And if you've have information on someone who's been … Read more

Hardware makers suffer through drive shortages

One of the larger questions for tech companies going into fourth-quarter earnings revolved around hard drive shortages and whether the supply chain could adapt after flooding in Thailand.

Answering that question is still fairly tricky. Why? There were no uniform trends. Some companies thrived and a few struggled. Seagate was a clear winner. Western Digital held up better than expected. Meanwhile, other companies such as Sony--a financial basket case to start with--flopped.

The takeaway here is that October's severe flooding in Thailand continues to whack the technology industry. But the impact is far from uniform.

Here's a tour … Read more

Microsoft expects analysts' projections for PC market to decline

Microsoft warned today that PC sales in the fourth quarter may be lower than analysts had previously expected due to flooding in Thailand.

While analysts had expected PC shipments to fall about 1 percent, the actual number may be lower, Microsoft Windows CFO Tami Reller said during an appearance today at the Consumer Electronics Show, according to a Bloomberg report. Reller said during a Nomura Holdings event that more downward adjustments may be coming.

That opinion was echoed at a separate event by Bill Koefoed, the general manager of Investor Relations for Microsoft.

"As the numbers come out, you'… Read more

Western Digital restarts hard disk production

Hard disk giant Western Digital said today that it has partially restored production at a facility that had been shut down because of the flooding in Thailand.

The world's largest HDD manufacturer in terms of volume, Western Digital was one of the hardest hit by the flooding. The company has 37,000 workers in Thailand, and production in the country accounts for 60 percent of the company's total capacity, according to IHS-iSuppli.

WD restarted production of hard drives this week in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in, Thailand, one week ahead of internal schedules, the company said. … Read more

Micron: Thailand causing demand pick-up for SSDs

Micron Technology said today that demand is increasing for solid-state drives in the wake of the flooding in Thailand.

Since late summer, the prices of traditional spinning hard disk drives have been steadily rising because of shortages due to flooding in Thailand. That country accounts for about 70 percent of global hard drive-related production. And recently Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said that large customers are calling HP because they can't get drives.

Micron Technology, one of the largest flash memory chip manufacturers in the world, told CNET today that the solid-state drive industry has seen orders spike.

"Clearly … Read more