It feels just like yesterday when the merely ten seconds of Tsunami (2004) washed away millions of lives. The still-recovering people were yet to face another Haiti earthquake in 2010 that still gives goosebumps in our arms!!!
As global warming begins, the statistics of natural calamities tends to grow. People living in disaster prone areas need to be always prepared in case of Nature’s wrath. Proper evacuation system can save many lives during impromptu disasters.
With the introduction of smartphone in the global arena, disaster management services have become much easier. Government, NGO’s are able to efficiently handle natural calamities. Smartphones and mobile applications have a great role to play as part of disaster management services.
Monitoring, evacuation, rescue relief, warning and other means of communication are swiftly dealt with, thanks to smartphones.
With the help of this small device, you can now access the whole world with applications. From 4G internet connection to high definition images and videos, the importance of mobile phones has grown big within the last 10 years.
Many times, people do not know what to do when an earthquake or a landslide hits. They are left with nothing which puts them in a situation where they are emotionally stuck. They do not have the presence of mind on where to get help or how to handle such emergency situations. It is this panic that probably causes more injuries and death tolls.
To cater to the needs of people affected by natural calamities, many humanitarian organizations have come up with the idea of actually utilizing mobile phones to the fullest. They are bringing on trending technologies via mobile applications and training their staff on many key areas such as operations, planning and security risk management.
Few of these subjects can be broached using self-study courses that are available online. However, the need to enable and equip the staff with necessary tools to seek vital information while they are on-the-go is very much on the rise. This is because the volunteers and staff need to get real time information on any natural calamities, even before they hit.
Keeping this in mind, many humanitarian organizations have developed disaster management mobile applications that can help the volunteers to get prompt update of any probable calamities.
Here are top mobile applications that can support the volunteers to prepare and respond promptly during disasters.
1. American Red Cross
There are a number of well-planned applications such as First Aid, Floods, Tornados, Hurricanes, Volunteer, Earthquakes, Wildfires, Shelter Finder. You will find interactive videos, quiz, and a step-by-step guidance. Apart from the above, these apps also include customized warning indicators if you or your family is residing in disaster-prone regions.
2. Disaster Alert (Pacific Disaster Center’s World Disaster Alerts)
This is a free application that provides mobile access to monitoring and warning for “probable hazards” anywhere around the globe. You will also be able to view/share additional information, reports, etc. regarding hazards.
3. Global Emergency Overview (ACAPS)
This is a weekly update application that gives you an overview of recent happenings and priorities all around the globe. This app has been developed to inform humanitarian organization to join hands and present them with a summary of the current crisis.
4. Humanitarian Kiosk
A disaster management mobile application developed by United Nations, it provides real-time information from any emergencies all around the world. This app provides info about the independent locations where UN-OCHA operates. They also give constant info regarding any global humanitarian emergency.
5. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
The FEMA application contains disaster safety tips, emergency meeting location info, interactive emergency kit list, Google map with open shelters along with FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
Such helpful application would be useless if no one used it. This is why many countries are coming up with ways to inform people that such caring applications exist.
Many countries such as Russia are already encouraging mobile networks to push SMS to their customers with a short link and description regarding such disaster management apps. Few newspapers and talk shows too are encouraging and informing people about the importance of community preparedness.
Disasters can be frightening. No matter how enjoyable the weather looks, nature can be unpredictable. So make sure to prepare yourself and keep yourself ready in case of any disaster. Stack your smartphones with these applications that can help you in disaster management.