I read a very interesting article on the New England Journal of Medicine’s website regarding the integration of social media into emergency-preparedness efforts, and how it is greatly improving how we as citizens and in turn, emergency services respond to widespread emergencies. One of the most obvious but at the same time most important points taken from the article is that with social media in hand, “officials can “push” information to the public while simultaneously “pulling” in data from lay bystanders” in real-time. The importance of this push and pull must not be under sold, as even less than a few years ago, the ability to take in and then widely spread information in real-time during an emergency was not an option.
With over 400 million people on Facebook and 50 million on Twitter now, there’s a powerful potential for both the spreading and intake of information and Guardly can be a strong factor in this. This brings us to the protests in Egypt, and there’s simply no denying how crucial a role social media played in those events, and how they then influenced similar protests in Libya, Iran and other Arab countries. Facebook and Twitter not only helped organize and spread the call-to-protest in these countries, but they also helped citizens share photos of the on-going action in real-time, filling the rest of the world in on the events which were laced with brutal violence in true acts of citizen journalism. While it was not necessarily the case in these countries, theoretically, emergency-response times could be significantly shorter for helping citizens injured in protests or events of a similar nature. Since location can be shared via Twitter and Facebook, medical services could technically arrive the scene of the emergency quicker, with a better understanding of what they would be facing once they got there.
I’d like to briefly discuss how Guardly could play a strong role in the continuing effort towards better emergency-preparedness. A powerful function of Guardly is that it allows you to alert numerous contacts at once (be they friends, family, co-workers, etc) and even 911 that you are having an emergency. Those contacts can then have an open dialogue via a web-based chat about the victim and their circumstances. Perhaps the emergency is nation-wide (like a protest or a natural disaster), and that’s what the Guardly user has decided to use the service for in this particular instance. The Guardly user can then participate in the web-based chat, informing their emergency contacts about exactly what is happening, and most importantly, where it is happening, as Guardly locates the user through GPS, location-based tracking. Moreover, the user can share photos of the emergency in real-time which can then be spread by their emergency contacts, painting an even more detailed picture of the emergency. Now that the emergency contacts have been briefed on the situation, they can then head to another social media site (Twitter, Facebook) and spread the word even further. No doubt, Guardly on it’s own is a powerful tool in helping emergency efforts, but coupled with other popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter makes it even more useful.
Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
- Read our customer campus safety study showing how Guardly helped improve emergency response times by 44% at a school.
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