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Apps to download during Irma

Wilman Hernandez and his wife Brenda Ramirez, check their phones for the location of shelters and their capacity while waiting for a bus in Miami Beach, Fla., Friday, Sept. 9, 2017. Photo: Marta Lavandier/AP

As seen during Hurricane Harvey, social media and apps can be extremely helpful during storms and crisis situations. Now, with Florida preparing for Irma, people are downloading various weather and communication apps to stay connected during the storm.

Here are some of the most useful apps:

  • The hurricane app from the Red Cross: monitor local storm conditions and connect with others to let them know you're safe.
  • NOAA Radar U.S.: The number one paid app for hurricane tracking, per the Miami Herald.
  • Zello Walkie Talkie app: This free app has already been downloaded by over a million people preparing for Irma, per NBC. However, it won't work if there is no cell service or Wi-Fi.
  • FireChat: A free messaging app that doesn't need cell service or internet access to work.
  • GasBuddy: Find gas near you for the cheapest prices, using data submitted by other users in the area.
  • Snapchat: Stay up-to-date on what's happening in your area through videos posted by users near you with Snapchat's new Snap Map feature.
  • WhatsApp: This communication app "offers fast, simple, secure messaging and calling for free around the world."
  • Nextdoor: Through Nextdoor, neighborhoods can communicate on a "private social network."
  • Waze: A navigation app, Waze projects what the roads in your area look like based on real-time road and traffic information submitted by other drivers.
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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Stef Kight / Axios

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 8 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the NYT. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.