Emergency-Alerting App

10/10/2012

In today’s highly connected world, devices are front and center to provide valuable information to consumers in a timely manner. For example, more often state agencies are using apps to alert citizens in a particular area of an impending emergency.

A recent example comes from MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency), www.mass.gov/mema, which is responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary, and private resources during emergencies and disasters in Massachusetts.

On the heels of announcing the newly renovated State Emergency Operations Center—which includes new communications and display technologies—MEMA also recently announced the use of a new public alerting technology for smartphone users.


Ping4alerts! will allow public safety entities throughout the commonwealth to alert citizens of an impending problem, with specific information and detailed steps to help ensure safety. The free mobile communications app will alert citizens about public safety and public health emergencies and disasters.

With the use of geofencing technology, Ping4alerts! will allow MEMA to send targeted alerts to iOS and Android devices, notifying citizens of situations and events happening near them.

The State Emergency Operations Center and the emergency-alerting app were unveiled last week during a cabinet meeting at MEMA headquarters in Framingham, Mass. The center is designed to maintain situational awareness during disasters and emergencies, coordinate state response and recovery efforts, facilitate intrastate and interstate mutual aid, and handle requests for assistance from the federal government.

In a statement, Governor Deval Patrick says the new facility will help MEMA prepare to meet any emergency the commonwealth might face. The smartphone alerts come in addition to MEMA’s public-alerting system, which includes radio, television, Web, Twitter, and Facebook alerts.

As more devices become connected, critical data can be available in realtime. In case of emergency, many state agencies are beginning to use technology to alert citizens of an impending situation. With the use of geofencing technologies, consumers can receive targeted alerts based on their location.





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