Using Mobile Apps in Disasters

By Wade, Jared | Risk Management, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Using Mobile Apps in Disasters


Wade, Jared, Risk Management


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Mobile apps are becoming vital resources during disasters--and for good reason. "People are stressed out, scared and seeking information," said Wendy Harman of the American Red Cross. Her organization, the most recognizable name in disaster relief, monitored more than 100,000 mentions of Hurricane Isaac on social media: a number that helps show how mainstream it has become for people to use mobile devices during a natural catastrophe.

According to a recent Red Cross survey, 55% of people now rely on online news for emergency information, while 39% say they would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe. And of those who use social media during disasters, 76% are likely to seek information about weather conditions or warnings, 62% would search for damage caused by the event, and 56% would try to find the status of loved ones.

Of course, social media and online news are not always mobile. Some of these respondents are still using tethered devices. None other than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, however, has said that his company's future resides in the mobile realm, and trends suggest that demand will only rise for mobile disaster information.

In May, smartphone usage in the United States officially passed that of "dumbphones," according to Nielson, with the average smartphone user now spending 39 minutes per day using apps. The number of apps downloaded on Apple's iPhones and Google Android devices also grew 28% in 2012 compared to 2011.

So while only 20% of respondents to the Red Cross survey have so far used a mobile app to get information about an emergency, it seems inevitable that this number will continue to grow. For government agencies, nonprofit organizations and companies with expertise in disaster preparedness, now appears to be the time to invest in creating apps that will help people stay safe.

The Red Cross has already turned its eyes to mobile. In addition to a First Aid App for "everyday emergencies," it offers a specialized Hurricane App, Earthquake App and Shelter Finder App. The hurricane app includes an "active storm tracker," which sends users notifications about their local area, and "challenges," which test users' knowledge about hurricane preparedness and history. The earthquake version offers advice on how to prepare before a seismic event ("know which hotels along your evacuation route will accept you and your pets"), what to do during the shaking ("if you are in bed, stay there, curl up"), and what to consider in the hours ahead ("consider all water from wells ... to be unsafe until tested"). Each also has a utility toolbox that can turn a phone into a flashlight, blinking strobe light or alarm to alert rescuers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Using Mobile Apps in Disasters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.