Monday, May 12, 2014
MOBILE apps for smartphones take a significant role as innovative alternatives in information dissemination for disaster risk reduction.
Department of Science and Technology-Project NOAH, Arko and Flood Patrol are now available as applications for smartphones for the people’s convenience.
The applications can be downloaded free on Google Play for android operating phones and Apple Store for iOS.
Smartphone users can now monitor the Doppler and read near-real time weather forecasts in DOST Project NOAH. They can also refer to the detailed flood maps in Arko, which will help them determine and assess the hazards in their areas.
Moreover, the people may now visit Flood Patrol to share their concerns, feedbacks and updates in their areas related to weather forecasts and disasters.
Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director for Department of Science and Technology – Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards said, “by downloading them, you see pertinent information that directly relates to saving your life or the life of your loved ones.”
“You get accustomed to viewing information, and when the time comes that you need to use that information, you already know how to interpret it,” he added.
He followed that in that way, people can not only prepare themselves and plan for action but also share the information.
Lagmay said the mobile apps are just one way and not the only way to communicate information.
The use of social media was also credited as an effective way in creating awareness and moving people to act in times of disasters.
Although Lagmay did not claim the DOST is reaching everybody through mobile apps and social media he ascertained that these innovative alternatives are reaching a lot of people who are mainly benefited.
This article was originally published in Sunstar Baguio on May 14, 2014.