Thursday, August 25, 2011

How Smartphones Are Changing How People Respond To Emergencies



25 Aug 2011 15:37 Africa/Lagos


How Smartphones Are Changing How People and Disaster Experts Respond To Emergencies
allRisk says Smartphones Becoming a Necessity for Disasters




PR Newswire

SOMERDALE, N.J., Aug. 25, 2011

SOMERDALE, N.J., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- August has been a busy month for regional disaster experts, allRisk Inc. (www.teamallrisk.com). So far, a recent record-breaking rain led a New Jersey state university to hire the company to perform emergency water mitigation in areas where total repair estimates have reached $1.4 million.

Cleanup from the massive flood needed to be completed within days, before students returned for fall classes. With Hurricane Irene upgraded in intensity, and on track to hit the area this weekend the company expects to be even busier.

allRisk is in a "war room" mode, as they prepare to respond to what they anticipate to be a large volume of calls and texts for emergency help -- some from people with smartphones.

The increasing use of smartphone technology not only helps people to cope in emergency situations through calls, texts, emails and social network communication, but in other less obvious ways, thanks to thousands of unique apps.

"After food and water, smartphones during an emergency are a must for the variety of ways in which you can communicate," says allRisk Inc. President Dean Ragone. "However, with apps that have a flashlight light, a strobe and S.O.S abilities, apps to tune in radio with 40,000 stations, fire and police scanner apps, and a weather app to NOAA, smartphones are changing the way we respond to these emergencies."



In addition to having extra cell batteries, Ragone also recommends that people should use their phones to take pictures and video of their homes and businesses before and after a storm for insurance purpose. He also believes it is important to have a 9-1-1 app and one for Twitter so that you can be informed about what is going on outside your environment, and to inform others about what is happening where you are.

Ragone believes smartphones over the course of the next few years will be a necessity, along with food and water.

"A smartphone will also be a replacement for cash, and you can use it like a debit card," he says. "There are also book apps for reading and if you have an urge to pray, there is a Rosary app," says Ragone.

While Ragone has faith in the effectiveness of smartphones, he also notes that during 9/11 and the recent earthquake some phone lines didn't work or became overloaded, yet most text messages and social media connections seemed unaffected, he said.

"Office or family emergency kits should always contain a radio with batteries to ensure communications from the outside world," Ragone said.

Ragone urges his business and professional trade association clients to consider investing in low-cost ham radio training in the event of a communications blackout.

The Salvation Army, for example, operates an emergency radio network, SATERN, that volunteers monitor and share messages and information related to health and welfare during emergencies.

With a firm grasp on smartphone technology and emergency disaster restoration, Ragone says his disaster staff of 70-plus are waiting for that next phone call or text that propels them into action.

allRisk is a 24/7 emergency response company, and one of the largest and best-equipped property damage firms on the East Coast. The company specializes in commercial property damage restoration, general construction (restoration and tenant fit-out) and environmental remediation. Their expertise includes repairs of damage caused by fire, flood, structural failures and mold.

For more information about how to plan for a disaster or about how allRisk plans for one, contact Christine Messina at 877-247-5252, christine@allriskinc.com or www.teamallrisk.com.

SOURCE allRisk Inc.

CONTACT: Tom Peric, +1-856-874-0049, tom@thegalileo.com

Web Site: http://www.teamallrisk.com



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