CBS Local — An app that allows users to instantly trade voice messages and photos is becoming the must-have survival item for many Americans preparing for Hurricane Irma.

The Zello Walkie Talkie has reportedly jumped to the top of the Apple store’s free app chart as people look for ways of staying in touch with their friends and loved ones when the Category 5 storm arrives. Zello was created in 2011 and has reportedly been used by rescue workers called the Cajun Navy following Hurricane Katrina.

Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, new channels have been created on the app for groups doing search and rescue missions around the flood-ravaged Houston area. “Our voice is how we most naturally communicate. A few seconds of voice has so much information on emotion, education, gender, what part of the country are they from,” said Zello CEO Bill Moore.

Zello had around 100 million registered users on iOS and Android at the beginning of 2017. Some of the new users downloaded the app under the false belief it could function without a WiFi signal. Rumors of the app’s ability to work connection-free have since been knocked down by Zello and multiple consumer reports.

Florida residents have already been urged to prepare for or evacuate the state as Irma in expected to bring winds of over 180 mph to the region.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

A Florida Gator Leaves School Early For NFL DraftHis size, strength and quickness have NFL scouts projecting him to be an early round pick.
It's a Date | November 2017It's a Date is our monthly calendar created to help you keep up with everything Tampa Bay has to offer!
Best Party Beaches Around Tampa BayIt's illegal to drink alcohol on most of Tampa Bay's beaches - unless you know about these next six locations.

Listen Live