“Traditional texting can be time consuming and cumbersome if you are trapped or injured.What R U up2?’ can save time and reduce the chances for communication errors. Because the app generates text messages it also helps free up bandwidth. "
Costa Mesa (PRWEB) October 24, 2011
60 year-old silicon-valley retiree Irene Long chose to time the launch of her emergency and post-disaster “app” 'What R U up2' with the 22nd anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake.
In an emergency how quickly and what you communicate can save lives? With 66% of Americans owning a cell phone, most of us now turn to our cell phones to communicate in emergencies and disasters. ‘What R U up2?’ is an app designed to save time and lives and helps you communicate important and useful information by building text messages for you.
“Anyone who tried to make a call during the magnitude 5.8 quake that shook the East Coast in August 2011 knows that the biggest impact for most East coasters was the fact that the cell phone network bandwidths were jammed. A text message has a higher chance of getting through due to its low bandwidth requirements,” says Ken Reeves Vice President of AccuWeather, a company responsible for emergency weather communications.
The app’s set up feature allows users to create lists of their emergency contacts; the places they frequent or may seek refuge in a disaster; their local hospitals and doctors; the schools their children or grandchildren attend; and other important information. That information can later be used to quickly build messages with little or no use of the QWERTY keyboard. Using large “buttons” that contain intuitive images, plus their custom lists, users can easily communicate their status, whereabouts, and plans in everyday messages. The Emergency Status Report feature also allows users to report a situation or injury, its severity, and other potentially life-saving information in a disaster or other emergency.
For Long, family disaster preparedness education, emergency response training, and community outreach have become a way of life since the 1989 San Francisco Bay Area quake. During that quake, her then 18-month-old son was nearly crushed by toppling heavy furniture. She was also separated from her family and needed to develop and communicate an on-the-fly reunification plan.
“I remember how anxious I was to know if my husband and our son were okay and to let our out of area loved ones know our status. Phone lines were jammed with calls. Unfortunately, when people finally got through to their loved ones many wasted valuable bandwidth by talking about things that could have easily waited for several days – like how grandma’s china was broken or how car alarms were going off and dogs were barking. We couldn’t get a dial tone and it was more than six hours before anyone from out of the area got a call through to us,” says Long.
“I wish I’d had ‘What R U up2?’ when my husband had his heart attack a month ago” says Laura Roughton, Mayor of Jurupa Valley, CA and a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer. “The emergency message builder and emergency contacts list would have saved me a lot of time in letting my kids know what was going on and which hospital we had gone to.”
Text messaging is a great way to communicate yet it has its drawbacks. “Traditional texting can be time consuming and cumbersome if you are trapped or injured. It can also result in communicating inaccurate information due to typos or the auto correct problems associated with QWERTY keyboard use. ‘What R U up2?’ can save time and reduce the chances for communication errors. Because the app generates text messages it also helps free up bandwidth. That means more loved ones will be able to connect more quickly in disasters,” concludes Long.
The app is now available on itunes.
Source Raychel Harvey-Jones- Independent News