By Martie De Castro, Kaye Santander & Joyce Villaflor
STC Mass Comm Interns
MORE than ever, technology plays a crucial role in helping people survive natural or man-made disasters, as well as mitigating their effects. At our fingertips, we get information from gadgets as calamities, near or far, unfold, or watch them in real time. Since disasters are inevitable, the best thing we can do is to keep ourselves updated and be prepared. One effective way is by downloading apps designed for emergencies or disasters. Here are some apps that can be handy in case the unthinkable happens.
Made for Android users, Earthquake Alert! lets you see magnitude 4.5+ earthquakes from all over the World, as well Magnitude 1.0+ from the United States. The app alerts and notifies you with the latest quakes in the world, filter what you see, and lets you click on the quake location to view it on the map, which shows magnitudes. Details can be viewed on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) site, where you can also report an earthquake that you’ve felt.
An app for iOS users, QuakeFeed is designed for disasters specifically earthquakes. It enables you to see earthquakes in different cities all over the world through a map. You can also receive notifications and alerts if your location and its neighboring cities are experiencing earthquakes. It displays a list of the magnitude, the information of when and where exactly it happened, news of the aftermath, and alerts on possible aftershocks. QuakeFeed is beneficial for us especially if we have relatives in other places and in order for us to be aware and be prepared.
In times of emergency, stable mobile signal and wifi connection is almost impossible. With this app, one can connect with their loved ones and call rescuers without internet connection or cellular network within a given time frame and geographic area. This app has a peer-to- peer networking or known as mesh networking that enables one to send messages and pictures offline between devices that are located within 200 ft of one another. All you need to do is to download the app and connect with other fellow FireChat users to call for help. According to Christopher Daligault, chief marketing officer at Open Gardens, says that the app was designed as a simple way for organizations to provide information “to the people who need it most.”
Hazards app by PRC
Developed specifically for the Philippines, the official Hazards app by the Philippine Red Cross provides useful information on how to prepare for an upcoming calamity, as well as how to respond to its impact. One of the features of this app is an alert system that notifies the user of an upcoming calamity. The alert system gives public advisories on what to do during and after a calamity, and provides updates on affected areas. To asses one’s knowledge about disaster awareness and preparedness, this app has a “test yourself” activity. Questions are based on the information material provided by the app. It also has its own map to know the exact location of the occurring calamity.