Mobile devices have changed the way we live. Now most people have a computer in their pockets, which they can consult for up-to-the-minute weather, check in on social media, send emails and play any number of games and apps for hours of entertainment. But our mobile devices can also keep us safe. Mobile devices can provide real-time intelligence that can help prevent security incidents or apprehend suspects quickly, as was the case in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Mobile devices not only allow individuals involved in disasters or incidents share information quickly with authorities, but it also gives security personnel a fast way to communicate with others and reduce injuries or prevent further damage.
Real-time data collection
When emergencies strike, people in the affected area increasingly turn to mobile devices to post photos and information about real-time events and conditions. Monitoring this data allows emergency responders to provide better support for the unique situations. Using the real-time data collected from inside sources helps officials get a true understanding of a situation and make changes to how they disperse emergency teams.
Cell service often goes down during emergencies, however, text messages can typically still get through, making mobile devices vital sources for real-time data.
After the Boston Marathon bombing, officials sifted through 10 terabytes of data looking for evidence of the bombers. They analyzed call logs, text messages, social media data, photographs, videos and were able to quickly pinpoint the suspects. They also changed the way we think about using big data in future catastrophes.
Push notifications – AMBER alerts
Did you know that iPhones are automatically set up to alert you when a child in your vicinity has been abducted or goes missing? If you don’t have an iPhone, there are other ways to receive the alerts on mobile devices. These push notifications will provide you with AMBER alerts and warn you about other emergency situations such as natural disasters. These alerts can save lives by getting users timely information about dangerous situations.
The University of New Hampshire recently deployed a state-wide public safety datacasting service the used integrated technology solutions that reaches residents on a wide range of mobile devices.
Mobile technology is certainly changing emergency response and physical security for the better. As technology evolves, it will be interesting to see what new and innovative ways security professionals and communication experts will use mobile devices to make the world a safer place.
ECHO Minnesota is one organization in our community working to communicate through the use of mobile devices and beyond with diverse communities about health, safety and emergency readiness. Be sure to register for the 2014 Secure360 Race for ECHO this September. Proceeds from this fall event go to support ECHO Minnesota. Join us in exercising good judgment and supporting a good cause! Learn more and register here to take advantage of early-bird pricing today!