Smart Phones in an Emergency

March 2, 2016
Mass adoption of smart phones and cell phones occurred quickly within the last decade. Mobility is instant and in the palm of your hands. Checking e-mail, surfing the web, and managing your calendar are only a few of the tasks a smart phone can complete. Adoption of smart phone users continues to increase each year. Over 64% of American adults own a smart phone. If such a large portion of the population owns a smart phone, why have emergency services not adopted the new technology to communicate with the public during an emergency?

Currently, users are adapting to the lack of emergency response with their smart phones. Of smart phone users, 53% have used their phone in an emergency situation to obtain help. Instead of spending time trying to gather information about an emergency on your phone, it is easier if the information is pushed to you allowing you to make decisions about what is happening.

Emergency calls placed to 911 have difficulty locating a wireless caller. Calls made from landlines only tell emergency personnel which building a person is calling from not where they are in the building. It is estimated that 70% of calls made to emergency centers are placed from wireless phones, which leaves an information gap between first responders and the public.

Smart phones are also used to share and obtain information about the emergency. Social media provides information faster than first responders. In the event of an emergency the public posts to social media sharing valuable details that first responders need.

Crowdsourcing information in an emergency allows first responders to collect information and share out with users the critical information that they need. Users can share this information empowering them by being part of the solution rather than waiting for help to arrive. ArcAngel users are empowered to make their own decisions in an emergency.