NEW YORK (MEDIA GENERAL) — In an emergency, your phone can be your biggest ally. Many apps are designed to protect your family. Safety apps can track and share your location with trusted family and friends.
Robyn Spoto, co-founder of MamaBear app, can see her entire family on a map. “Parents want to know where there kids are, kids want to know ‘How close is mom to picking me up?’”
Many apps feature GPS location and each has different features. MamaBear can monitor social media and alert parents when kids are in a speeding car. Life360 includes a panic button and can even call 911 during emergencies. Companion is especially helpful for college students walking to their destinations.
iWitness will record audio and video and upload it to a secure server, so you’ll have evidence of something bad happens. Spoto recommends families talk about what safety features are most helpful before committing to an app.
“Children get their first device, there’s more monitoring that needs to happen. As they get a little more mature and parents feel comfortable with social media activity — now it’s just a matter of knowing where each other are,” she said.
There are also apps to teach you what to do in an emergency. For example, the Red Cross’ First Aid app shows you what to do in all kinds of situations from asthma attacks and choking to heart attacks and stroke. On iPhones, emergency responders can access information even if your phone is locked.
“The emergency button on the phone can explain your allergies, your height, your weight, people to call right away. That helps first on scene, explained Spoto.
Even social media can deliver critical information. “People in dire situations are posting their situation on twitter or on Instagram, so that could be another means of identifying where someone is or a situation they might be in,” Spoto said.
She also recommends taking a close look at the fine print before downloading an app so you k ow exactly how the information is being protected, especially from hackers.
Additional Safety Apps:
Red Cross Apps http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-app
Red Panic Button http://www.redpanicbutton.com/