The Zello Walkie Talkie App: Hurricane Victims Best Friend

After all the Hurricane Harvey devastation and now possibly Hurricane Irma people are using apps and social media more so than before in a state of emergency.

Introducing the Zello App, an app created by an Austin-based startup that is helping save lives in Southeast Texas and now Florida due to Hurricane Irma. The Zello App turns your phone into a walkie-talkie by just pushing a button. Zello is a walkie-talkie app where users can push a button to talk to any one through a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

This was key during Hurricane Harvey and now for Hurricane Irma. There are channels for the Cajun Navy, midwives volunteering to help pregnant women, and specific areas like Port Arthur and Beaumont. The app is designed to work with low-quality connections and low battery. The app was essential during Hurricane Harvey and now for Hurricane Irma, where the internet and cell service is spotty.

Zello has 100 million registered users and during Hurricane Harvey they had 20 times as many new users in Houston compared to the previous week.

The app typically picks up in usage during natural disasters, but they’ve also seen surges in countries with political unrest. Zello is also used for business, particularly companies who have drivers or teams of people, like hospitality and retail.

How does the Zello App work?

First you must download the Zello app. Once users create an account, they explore a variety of channels to join and chat. In the case of Harvey rescue efforts, channels such as the Cajun Navy Dispatch and Harvey Animal Rescue appeared where users could quickly push a button to talk and seek help.

Below is Zello dispatch routing list for Hurricane Irma:
1) Main Dispatch – for directing traffic
“Hurricane Irma Rescue and Relief”

2) Watch Team -for info research requests
“USCF Watch Team”

3) Radar Team – for open source raw intel
“USCF Civil Defense Radar”

4) Intel Team – intel vetting & threat assess
“USCF Intel Briefings”

5) Policy Team -for public policy advisories
“USCF Policy Group”

6) Training Center – Get help with Zello
“USCF Training Center”

7) Logistics Team – In/Outbound Supplies
“USCF Logistics Team”

8) Action Team – for Rapid Response R&R
“USCF Action Team”

9) Updates – of the Civilian Defense Grid
“USCF Civilian Defense Updates”

At this time Zello is the most popular free app on both Android and iOS app stores due to the Hurricanes. For more information or to download Zello click here.

Our prayers go out to Hurricane Harvey victims and Hurricane Irma victims! Stay strong Florida!


Source:, CNN, USA Today, Zello