You know that uneasy feeling that comes from being without your phone? To those accustomed to having a smartphone, being without it is akin to being without one’s arm—or brain. This feeling is especially prevalent in cases of emergency. The smartphone is a safety net that keeps users in immediate contact with family, friends, important news updates, and emergency personnel should the need arise.
If knowledge is power, then the smartphone is an individual’s greatest asset. From severe weather tracking apps to map apps, smartphones make informed decision-making immediately possible at the touch of a screen, which is especially vital before and after severe weather strikes. The American Red Cross has created several weather apps used to locate shelters and provide first aid how-tos and tips should a medical professional be unavailable.
Not only do smartphones enable users to contact friends, family, or authorities in case of emergency, certain apps also let users set severe weather and news alerts. This type of emergency communication saves lives in anticipation of a storm should a user be unaware of oncoming severe weather.
According to the Homeland Security News Wire, “Software developed by computer scientists could help quickly and accurately locate missing people, rapidly identify those suffering from malnutrition, and effectively point people towards safe zones simply by checking their phones.” This article also points out the utility of mobile devices for aid workers recording the whereabouts of survivors after a disaster in order to reunite families.
And new emergency apps are being developed all the time, just as other new technology, like Etón’s line of cell phone backup batteries, are being developed to keep smartphones alive when traditional power sources become unavailable. With these elements combined, we should see the smartphone’s role in safety only increase in coming years.