FEMA to Test Mobile App for Damage Assessment

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App for iPad, Android, and BlackBerry devices will improve information gathering after disasters, says app development firm, RunMobile.

Screen Capture of DARS on Tablet Device

The app integrates to device cameras and GPS technology for precise mapping of disaster damage.

RunMobile, an app development and mobile device management firm, has been awarded a contract by UT-Battelle, LLC, the managing and operating contractor for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), to deploy and test a mobile app for post-disaster damage assessment and data collection on behalf of the Southeast Region Research Initiative (SERRI), a Department of Homeland Security-funded program at ORNL, and in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V Damage Assessment Center of Excellence.

The FEMA Region V Damage Assessment Center of Excellence was established to define, develop and implement a proactive Whole Community damage assessment process capable of accurately and efficiently assessing damage and impact to individuals and households following natural or man-made disasters.

The RunMobile Damage Assessment Reporting System (DARS) will introduce technology into what has historically been a paper-based system--a simple transition that will improve the speed and consistency of field data collection and expedite the availability of information to decision-makers.

The app, which can be easily downloaded and deployed to any iOS, Android or Blackberry device, provides a form-driven data collection process to ensure consistent and detailed damage descriptions.

The app integrates to device cameras and GPS technology allowing responders to photograph and precisely map damage locations.

Initial testing is underway by emergency personnel in WI and IL (part of FEMA region V) and will continue through 2013. The results of the project will provide the baseline for the use of mobile technology to improve the efficiency and coordination of first responders, local, state and federal agencies.

SERRI Program Manager at ORNL, Ben Thomas, states “This project aligns well with our programmatic goal of developing solutions to regional homeland security problems that have national implications for emergency and disaster management.”

“Mobile technologies are already used in a variety of industries to improve field reporting and data collection,” said Ted Chappell, Managing Director, RunMobile. “We’re pleased to deploy our app in support of this critical initiative.”

About RunMobile
RunMobile helps leading companies build, deploy and manage mobile software solutions to power the enterprise. We offer full-lifecycle, multi-platform mobile app development as well as mobile device management (MDM) and mobile strategy consulting services. Customers include Porsche North America, Ricoh, the City of Memphis, Neenah Paper, Metso, CiCi’s Pizza and other mid-sized and large businesses. For more information, visit http://www.runmobile.com

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Alex Gramling
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