Saturday, November 28, 2015
FEMA - Federal Emergency App
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency under the Department of Homeland Security which provides federal level coordination on emergency and disaster relief to affected communities in the United States. FEMA works alongside local and state responders to provide assistance particularly with communities which may become overwhelmed with a lack of available local resources during a state of emergency.
In the past, FEMA has struggled to address disaster support, such as with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The public demand for immediate and real-time response previously overwhelmed the agency. It took some time to re-evaluate their strategy.
This new app is a result of their Strategic Plan which addresses responsiveness and enhanced communications for the agency during disaster situations. FEMA's mobile application allows users to post information, seek assistance and learn more about disasters in their respective regions. This is a free and easy to use app, and is available for Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices.
The app shows users how to locate open shelters, upload photos from disaster areas, receive alerts from the National Weather Service and tips on how to be prepared for an emergency. While, all of this information was always available on their website, having it handy on a phone is much more helpful.
This modern-approach was really needed; the only disappointing aspect is that it wasn’t developed sooner. While, I personally haven’t used the app for an emergency yet, it is hoped that the app would be able to provide real-time responses and help people in affected areas throughout the United States.