Government apps aid disaster response

Recent hurricanes and an East Coast earthquake have disaster preparedness on a lot of people's minds. And the tech sector and government are responding to that need with a number of apps and other digital tools for coordinating disaster preparedness and response.

A recent write-up from Mashable profiled four apps that are helping people deal with disasters. It included the use of an app named Signal that allowed the utility company National Grid to send alerts on power outages and other service notices via SMS.

Mashable's write-up is noteworthy in that it doesn't include any government agencies or departments. But the federal government is using mobile technology to aid in disaster response as well. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said last month that it was introducing a new app that would allow people to prepare for emergencies. The app allows users to review items on their emergency kit, plan on emergency meeting locations and review disaster safety tips.

In April, FCW ran a story with numerous other examples of agencies making use of mobile technology, including the Transportation Security Administration's popular MyTSA mobile application that debuted in 2010.

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