Mobile Apps Are Saving Lives

Is sounds a little dramatic, right? You’d be right if it weren’t the absolute truth. Mobile apps are not just for entertainment or ordering in anymore! In a world where so much can go wrong in a matter of days, hours or even minutes, mobile apps can sometimes be the difference between life or death.

According to this great article from Forbes, there are a handful of mobile apps that could help you survive a variety of natural disasters:

  • The American Red Cross offers a suite of apps for emergencies, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, providing location-specific information, alerts and support during disasters
  • FEMA Mobile App launched in 2016 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides weather updates, alerts, real-time safety tips and directions to local resources like shelters
  • Ready-for-Wildfire app launched in 2016 by CAL Fire, the agency charged with preparing and responding to Californian wildfires, provides checklists to prepare for and evacuate from wildfires, as well as wildfire alerts
  • I-REACT app launched in 2018 and funded by the European Commission, provides a free disaster-resilience app to help citizens prepare for floods, fires and extreme weather events

In addition to the Crisis Response function on Facebook to let loved ones know that you are safe in light of major events or disasters, these four apps in particular could help you get back on your feet. They can also inform you of other options for seeking help or being on top of the natural disasters as they unfold.

“In 2019, estimates show that the number of mobile phone users worldwide will approach 5 billion,” Neil Yeoh said in his Forbes article. “Even though differing levels of mobile access and literacy can make it difficult to coordinate efforts using mobile technology alone, mobile communication is fast proving to be an effective and efficient way to reach, inform and connect human beings when a disaster inevitably comes.”

Whether you think of mobile apps as merely business tools or ways to pass the time in a daily commute, it’s hard to argue that they can’t serve a greater function. As with every technology mobile apps are adapting to best serve the public and with natural disasters coming more frequently it’s important that apps find their niche in global safeguarding.

Even if extreme weather in your area is, well, extremely rare it might be worth downloading one or two of the available readiness apps to have in your home’s emergency preparedness arsenal. Checking the apps could be less routine than even checking your fire alarm’s batteries, but in all things it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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