06 July, 2016
Disasters almost always arrive unexpectedly. But there are computer apps to help people prepare for disasters. Some apps alert users when a disaster has taken place. Other disaster apps can be used when people need rescue or other help.
Apps to Alert Others When You Need Help
The free SirenGPS Mobile app connects users to emergency services at the tap of the screen. The app will let emergency workers know where the person in need is.
The app works over cell networks. But it also works on Wi-Fi if cell networks are down after an emergency.
Users can create a personal health report on the app to share with emergency services. This will provide information about medicines users take, allergies they might have and other medical information important to treatment decisions.
Guardly is an app that can help keep people safer in places such as businesses and universities. This app permits workers and students to report about unsafe conditions, suspicious activity and more.
Reports can be made to an organization's own security division as well as to government emergency services.
The reporter's location can be sent with the report so security or emergency services help can arrive more quickly. The app works worldwide and Guardly can even find people within buildings, if the buildings are equipped with the right technology.
Organizations can also use Guardly to notify users of danger or ask if they need assistance and more.
This video shows how Guardly works:
The app is free, but Guardly charges for its services.
The Life360 app provides a service to keep loved ones connected. Users can set up a network of people to share their location, chat, and get alerts when they are near someone in their network. People in the same network can use the app on iPhone and Android devices.
The app helps users communicate when they are in a disaster. The location share function can be suspended when desired.
The Life360 app is free, with some services available for a fee.
Red Panic Button
When a person is in a dangerous situation, the Red Panic Button app might help. This app can send a text message and/or email to chosen contacts providing the user's location. You can also add a voice or video message and/or photo to your text and email.
This app can also be used to contact emergency services.
Red Panic Button is free, but extra features are available for a fee.
Apps to Alert You of Disasters
The Disaster Alert app is from the Pacific Disaster Center. It lets users know of disasters around the world when they happen. Alerts will be sent about volcano eruptions, earthquakes, floods and more. Disaster areas around the world are shown on a map, and reported in a list view.
The app is free with paid features available.
First Aid by American Red Cross
The free First Aid app by the American Red Cross helps guide users in giving aid to injured people. The app can also help prepare for disaster with information to help plan for drought, flood, storms and more.
Watch videos and take quizzes within the app. Users can switch the app from English to Spanish.
This video shows how the app works:
Global Emergency Overview App
The Global Emergency Overview App gives weekly information about natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the world. Search by map or a list of countries.
The developer says the app is designed to answer questions about humanitarian disasters. The information includes the location and nature of current humanitarian crises and help in judging need levels among crises.
The app is available free on:
The United Nations has a similar app at no cost. The Humanitarian Kiosk app gives information about humanitarian crises around the world. Users can choose geographic areas and follow current information from those areas.
Real Time Warning/Earthquakes
Get information about disasters around the world with the Real Time Warning app, also known as Earthquakes. See a list of disasters or look at the map. The app shows users the severity of the disaster and lets users involved in a disaster share their experiences.
The app is free with a fee for alert notifications.
The free Earthquake Alert! app notifies you of earthquakes above 1.0 in the U.S. and 4.5 in the rest of the world. See the earthquakes on a map or a list. Tap an earthquake to find out more about it, including news reports on the event.
Related article: App Feels Earthquakes Through Mobile Phones
I'm Dorothy Gundy.
Carolyn Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Have you made preparations in case of an emergency? Which disaster apps do you think you would find most helpful?
Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
emergency - n. an unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action
function - n. the special purpose or activity for which a thing exists or is used
drought - n. a long period of time during which there is very little or no rain
humanitarian - adj. related to helping people's lives