2 weeks ago by iMedicalApps Team By: Irfan Husain MS4, MPH candidate
With the advancements in social media and a surge in the prevalence of smartphones, we are now seeing live Twitter and Facebook updates and emergency-related applications being used in disaster response efforts.
Here, we evaluate the Red Cross Natural Disaster App series’ design and utility for the public in natural disasters.
Governmental agencies and NGOs are adapting and beginning to reach out to the public through mobile applications in order to provide direct, rapid, and life-saving alerts and updates.
The Red Cross was one of the first organizations to develop a series of comprehensive emergency apps that focused on all phases of a disaster – preparedness, response, and recovery. The Red Cross App Series covers a wide range of natural disasters including-Hurricane, Tornado, Earthquake, Wildfire, Shelter View, First Aid, and Team Red Cross. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on the Hurricane and Shelter View apps. Both Hurricane and Shelter View apps are targeting potential and current disaster victims. The Tornado, Earthquake, and Wildfire apps follow a similar format to the Hurricane app.
Read our recent overview of how social media is being used in disaster response here
When first using the Hurricane App you are prompted to allow use of current location and push notification in order to receive real-time alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From the main screen (under Prepare) you are able to access a menu for basic recommendations and a checklist on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane, in addition to planning preparations.