Photo of a room of about a dozen members of various areas of the disaster workforce, apparently planning a response or preparedness activity.
Photo of a tornado touching down over a remote field and dirt road.
Photo of a firefighter looking on as an information specialist or other responder consults information on a tablet.

Welcome to Packing Your Digital Go Bag: Essential Disaster Health Information on Your Mobile Device

This one hour course features key resources that responders and disaster/emergency preparedness professionals may want to install on their mobile devices as part of their preparedness activities. It describes different types of apps, and highlights a number of specific apps and mobile Web sites from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and other agencies and organizations.

This self-paced course fulfills one of the requirements of the MLA Disaster Information Specialization, Advanced Level. Students will earn one MLA continuing education (CE) credit.

Note: After reviewing the information on this page, please be sure to complete the pre-course evaluation on the next page before continuing with the course.

Two men gathered by a computer having a discussion

Continuing Education Credits

If you are taking this course for Medical Library Association credits, please register and complete the class through our free online registration system.

Topics Covered in this Course

This course is divided into the following sections. Use the Next and Back buttons at the bottom of the page to move through the course. It should take you about one hour to complete the course.

  1. Introduction: What Is in Your Go Bag?
  2. Apps 101: Know Your Apps
  3. Apps for CBRNE and Hazardous Substances
  4. Apps for Medical and Health Information
  5. Apps for Responder Support and Safety
  6. Apps for Psychological Health
  7. Apps from U.S. Federal Organizations
  8. American Red Cross Suite of Apps
  9. Apps for Surveillance and Alerts
  10. Social Media and Other Useful Tools
  11. Conclusion

Each section contains a single page of content and activities that help reinforce topics covered. For more information on additional ways to navigate the course, see the "Getting Around" section below.

Each section includes key points, which are the most critical take-home messages of the material.

Throughout this course, the National Library of Medicine will be referred to using the acronym NLM and the Disaster Information Management Research Center will be called NLM Disaster Health.


Disclaimer: NLM does not endorse any particular developer or product. Search the Apple Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World, or other appropriate app sources for your mobile platform.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the need for a digital go bag in conjunction with your physical go bag for disaster preparedness and response.
  • Locate mobile apps related to disaster preparedness and response.
  • Determine connectivity capabilities for using mobile apps during a disaster or emergency.
  • Organize mobile apps related to disaster preparedness and response.

Using this Course

Getting Around

There are a variety of ways you can navigate this training. You can:

  • Click the Back and Next buttons at the bottom of each page to move through the material.
  • Use the Menu button in the upper right corner of each page to access the main sections or contact support.
  • Press the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys on your keyboard to move through the material.
  • Use a combination of the above methods to explore the course contents.


At the top of each page, links will indicate where the current page falls within the overall course. You can also follow these links to return to this homepage or to the section that contains the page.


Throughout the course, you will encounter links. Any link denoted with an External Link icon (Exit disclaimer) points to a resource outside of this course and will typically open in a new tab or window. All other links are to other areas within the course.

Additionally, clicking on an image will open a larger view of the image in a pop-up box within the page.

Getting Help

If you need assistance using this course or have questions or comments about any of the content presented here, please select the About / Getting Help option from the upper right menu.