FEMA launched a disaster-preparedness mobile app that is built to work even when there is no mobile service, so citizens can access the information they need anytime on their mobile device.

The app lets citizens enter their family emergency meeting locations; review safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster; view a map of shelters and disaster-recovery centers across the U.S.; and read the agency's latest blog posts on disaster incidents and response, said a FEMA spokesperson. While the agency first developed it to work on Android devices, it now works on iPhones and soon will be available on the Blackberry v6.

In addition to the app, FEMA also is offering a text-message service that lets citizens receive updates from FEMA about disaster preparedness. People can text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to sign up for monthly disaster-safety tips; SHELTER and their ZIP code to the same number to find the nearest shelter in their respective areas; and DRC and their ZIP code to the same number for information about the nearest disaster-recovery center.

Download the Android or Apple app for free. FEMA is asking participants to critique the apps by leaving a comment in the iTunes Store or Android Marketplace.