How Smartphones Are Changing How People and Disaster Experts Respond to Emergencies

August has been a busy month for regional disaster experts, allRisk Inc. (http://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.

One major shift in dealing with disasters is the increasing use of smartphone technology not only to help people 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. While the earthquake disrupted many phone calls, most text message and social media connections seemed unaffected, he said.

“This is a reminder that office or family emergency kits should always contain a radio with batteries to ensure that you have communications from the outside world,” Ragone said.

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, (609) 634-9960, christine@allriskinc.com or http://www.teamallrisk.com.


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