The best emergency communication apps for Latter-Day Saints

The best emergency communication apps for Latter-Day Saints

There are a number of platforms to use while communicating to Latter-Day Saints during a disaster or emergency.

During most emergencies, cell phones and social media may be available to coordinate activities and provide vital information. 

The best emergency communication apps are group me and gospel living (circles).

These apps should be developed and practiced to train local leaders in effective communication. 

Why use group texting over email for emergencies?

There’s pros and cons of using group texting over email for emergency communication, but in general, group texting allows photos, videos, and location to be more easily shared.

Group email is available for auxillary leaders at the, but use whatever works to get the message through. 

Disaster communication apps

Communication during a disaster can reach a larger number of people if using group texting. The two most common apps used for emergency communication are group me and circles on the gospel living app.

Wards will need to train members on how download and use these apps to be better prepared.

Circles – Gospel living app

Circles on the gospel living app has been found to be a new way for a group to communicate within a ward, but it doesn’t have email or text notifications like group me.

Many wards used circles during the panedemic to communicate needs throughout the ward to be able to reach a large group of people.


GroupMe is a free application that works will all cell phones, tablets, and computers.  It allows group texting, pictures/video, and map location. 

Several LDS locations have weekly nets using GM (GroupMe) to train leaders in emergency communications.  Below is an example of how GM was used during flooding in Florida.  The group used their smartphone, tablet, or computer.  Pictures and maps could have been used as well.

Radio Communication

When all else fails, radio communications may be the only way to communicate during an emergency/disaster.  Amateur radio is the backbone of the church ERC system.  An effective radio communication system can provide coordination and information for Stake and Ward leaders.

Weather Radio

Every family & church leader should have a weather alert radio.  A radio with SAME technology allows you to program the radio to only alert you of storms in your local area eliminating false alarms.

FRS/GMRS (Family Radio Service Radios) 

These radios may be helpful in coordinating local emergency communications

  • (range about 1/2 – 1 mile).

Amateur Radio

Amateur radio is another emergency communication alternative that the Church recommends, but it requires a license.

How to get a amateur radio license

This section is provided to assist those interested in getting an Amateur Radio License.

There are three Amateur Radio Licenses available:

  • Technician – primarily used for UHF and VHF (line of site) communications.  The technician test consists of 35 questions with 26 correct answers.
  • General – HF (High Frequency) long distance (around the world) communications.  The general test consists of 35 questions with 26 correct answers.
  • Extra – Additional HF privileges.  The extra tests consist of 50 questions.

Testing is available in your local area as well as excellent resources to assist in training.  

Below are some aids that may be helpful:

Instructional Videos (they are dated but the information is still good – used by permissions from the ARRL)

Technician Instructional PowerPoint TechnicianClass2014.ppt

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