1- Everyone wants to keep in touch with friends and family during a hurricane. However, the higher-than-normal call volume puts a serious strain on local cell towers. That's why FEMA recommends everyone send text messages instead.
Of course, texting has its own drawback. You end up sending the same message over and over to each of your contacts. That's where a group texting app comes in handy. You can send a single text message to an entire group to let them know you're safe.
For this task, I recommend the excellent GroupMe app.
2 - It pays to know as much as possible about the storm: How long it will last; if it's losing or gaining strength; if its course is shifting; and so on. You don't want to be caught off guard by any sudden changes.
Google has a crisis map that gives you real-time updates on the hurricane's status.
Click here to view it.
Wind Map is another great site to load if you're curious about the hurricane's wind pattern.
3 - Storms are unpredictable. Even with good preparation you might find your home isn't a safe place to be. Knowing the locations of local emergency shelters is a must. You should also know the safest routes to take.
Fortunately, this information is easy to find. Google's Crisis Map includes active emergency shelters. Open up the site and make sure Active Emergency Shelters is checked in the right sidebar.
Then enter your location in the upper left search bar. You'll see pins representing emergency shelters. Click on a pin to see its location and remaining capacity. Try to avoid shelters that are already at capacity, if possible.
The Red Cross also has an app that includes shelters and plenty of other storm-related information. You can download it here.