Emergency Phone App

The Federal Government of Australia has released a smartphone application to provide quick and easy access to information about emergencies and disasters across the country. The DisasterWatch app can be downloaded for free and contains the latest public information via a direct feed from emergency response teams in each state and territory.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland says the tool is designed to reduce unnecessary calls to the triple-0 network.

“The information will be authoritative, it will accurate but still be able to use that social communication to disseminate it; so it’s pretty simple but it’s an advance,” he said. It’s also going to provide information without people going to have to trouble the triple-0 emergency call.

“The launch brings together a phenomena that was already occurring; that is people using social networking to find out information to advise friends and also to call on assistance, so this now brings together expertise.”

Mr McClelland announced funding for the app in July. “Nearly half of all calls to triple-0 are non-urgent calls, and when a disaster happens calls are often requests for information about the disaster,” he said at the time.

Australians currently own more than 4.5 million smartphones. By 2013 it is expected that more people will access the internet via mobile devices than via desktop computers. This free app is available from the Android Market and iTunes.

Via ABC News

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