Winter Storm Jonas Halts Traffic on the PA Turnpike

February 2, 2016

Winter storm Jonas ripped through the United States leaving a wake of destruction along the East Coast. An area hardest hit was the Pennsylvania Turnpike. White out conditions stopped cars for hours. Travellers stuck on the Turnpike did not have food, water, or a bathroom. Police and National Guard members went from car to car on the 16-mile stretch of the PA Turnpike delivering food, water, and gas to cars that needed it. Spending hours walking up and down the 16-mile stretch in the bitter cold, members of the National Guard and police checked in with travellers while they tried to get wreckage cleared from the roads. The inefficient process led travellers to become frustrated after not moving for hours.

Using ArcAngel, first responders could have sent a notification to users alerting them of the emergency event and asking if they are safe. When responding to their safety, travellers could let first responders know if there were injured, needed food or gas. This would reduce the time travellers spent lacking necessary supplies. It would also give first responders a better idea of who needed help immediately, by creating an actionable plan for delivering supplies. If a user’s status changes at any time they can update their message to not safe instantly letting first responders know that they need help.

Increased communication between ArcAngel users and first responders helps those affected by an emergency receive the help they need. It also empowers the ArcAngel users to make their own decisions in an emergency.