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Hurricanes Have Made This App Rise to the Top of the Charts

September 7, 2017, 1:38 PM UTC

After Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas last week, and Florida and the Southeast states brace for Hurricane Irma, a walkie-talkie app that can help people stay connected is now the number one free app.

Zello is designed to use any network or a WiFi connection to act as a walkie-talkie, and it’s now the top free app on iTunes and the Google Play store. This has made anyone in the path of Hurricane Irma or anyone with loved ones there eager to download the app.

“The heat map of where the registrations are occurring looks like the hurricane’s forecast path. It’s very dense at the tip among the Caribbean islands and then fans out across Florida,” Moore told the Washington Post.

Use of the app spiked when rescuers trying to save people in the flooding after Hurricane Harvey began using the app, according to the Post. Zello chief executive Bill Moore told the Post that on Tuesday, as much as 120 people were registering for the app every second and that it’s been trending on Facebook and Twitter. The high traffic cause some performance issues, which the company addressed on Twitter, though Moore said the issue has been resolved.

It’s not just Zello that’s seeing an increase in downloads because of hurricane season either. The NOAA’s radar app and the Hurricane Tracker app are the top two paid apps on iTunes as well.