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Mobile app service delivers location-based disaster alerts

Telecoms & Mobile

Natural disasters and other emergency situations are very much a local phenomenon, yet little has been done so far to take advantage of the mobile world’s new location-based capabilities. Enter CiviGuard, a new mobile app service designed to help governments deliver timely and contextual emergency information to affected civilians. To make use of CiviGuard, federal, state and local command centers would begin by leveraging the technology to identify crisis zones when a disaster occurs. California-based CiviGuard then determines which cell phone towers represent those crisis zones and compiles a list of subscribers to its FIPS 140-2-compliant service who should be targeted with an emergency message. Those subscribers then receive notifications via SMS, push or email, alerting them to critical information including route plans, directions and other emergency warnings. The multitouch CiviGuard app currently supports iPhone, iPad and Android; coming soon are BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Pricing for government organizations is on a per-civilian, per-year subscription basis, and it includes deployment, command training, mobile device updates, 24×7 support and quarterly readiness testing. Emergency management agencies around the globe: one to try out on your own smartphone-savvy population? Alternatively, developers: how about delivering a scaled-down, functionall version for less developed parts of the world? (Related: Emails warn patients about health-changing weatherCar insurer alerts clients by text message when roads get icy.) Spotted by: Doug Jost



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