7 Essential Mobile Apps for Federal Employees in 2019
Most Civilian Federal Employees own smartphones loaded with apps designed to add value to their daily lives. For those looking for guidance on government information and services, there are a variety of mobile apps sponsored by the Federal government which provide relevant and accurate information.
If you’re looking to simplify your life as a Fed, consider downloading the following mobile apps to bring important information about your career into the palm of your hand:
Sponsored By: US Office of Personnel Management
“OPM Alert” is the official app of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which provides access to real-time updates on the operating status for Federal offices in the DC Metropolitan Area. It also allows you to review OPM’s Dismissal, Closure, and Telework procedures.
Tip: Visit the settings section of the app to set up which notifications you’d like to receive. You may consider disabling notifications for when the government is open, and only being notified for delays or closures.
Sponsored By: US Department of Agriculture
The “FoodKeeper” app aims to help consumers strategically consume their food. This app provides preparation tips (such as the proper temperature to cook a certain dish), information on when food items are at their peak quality, and even has notifications for when certain food items have been recalled. This program aims to reduce food waste and help consumers spend less on consumable goods that they end up throwing away.
Tip: Use the “heart” option to favorite your family’s favorite food groups, and use the “Add to Calendar” option to set up reminders to use your food before it’s too late.
Sponsored By: US Department of State
“Smart Traveler” is the official app of the State Department, helping U.S. travelers locate frequently updated and official country information, travel alerts and warnings, U.S. embassy locations, and more. This app categorizes countries based on the level of danger U.S. travelers may be at risk for, and even allows users to create personal itineraries with maps and organized information.
Tip: Navigate to your destination country and click on the “Local Laws and Special Circumstances” tab to see a variety of information specific to that location, including; mobility restrictions and tips, attitudes toward members of the LGBTQIA+ community, laws around photography, and more.
Sponsored By: US Department of Homeland Security
The FEMA App is full of resources to help keep you safe before, during and after disasters. With weather alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service and comprehensive information on emergency kits, local shelters, and more, this app is a must-have for those in areas with often unpredictable weather.
Tip: Track extreme weather for all of your loved ones by setting up real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
Sponsored By: US Transportation Security Administration
The “MyTSA” app gives airline passengers access to frequently asked airport security information and helps them quickly locate information related to their flight, airport, checkpoints, and carry-on rules.
Tip: Use the app’s intelligent search function on their “Can I Bring?” section to find carry-on regulations around any item(s) you’re unsure of.
Sponsored By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC App provides up-to-date health information with news, blogs, and reports from the CDC. Learn information on Infectious Diseases, Chronic Illnesses, and more, and search their web content to locate reliable information on a variety of health-related topics.
Tip: Sign up for notifications about recalls and health notices in your state.
Sponsored By: United States Postal Service
The USPS Mobile® app is a quick and easy tool for any USPS customer looking for information related to shipping and deliveries. Using this app, you can track your packages, digitally preview incoming mail, and more.
Tip: Check shipping prices, buy stamps, and even hold your mail using this convenient app.
When it Comes to Apps, Consider the Following:
While the private sector offers several additional apps catered specifically to Civilian Federal Employees, warnings have been issued about the security of applications not endorsed directly by the Federal government. Recently, agencies were warning against apps designed to help Feds track TSP Fund contributions, as users would input TSP credentials and thus incur the risk of their data being unsecured, or accessed without their authorization. Conduct your own research on new apps you download, especially if you’re asked to input PII (Personally Identifiable Information).
For a full guide of apps sponsored by the federal gov, click here. Additionally, consider searching for mobile apps specific to your state or local government for information that directly impacts your life and work.
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This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.