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Be Prepared: Everyone Should Know These 16 Disaster And Crisis Apps Or Extensions

Be Prepared: Everyone Should Know These 16 Disaster And Crisis Apps Or Extensions

Despite growing technological advances, leaps forward in technology, caution, and medical professions, disasters and crises still happen every day. Whether you are facing hazards from the environment or dangerous people, the most important thing in any disaster is contacting emergency services and loved ones quickly and effectively. The following 16 apps and services are utterly indispensable for those in precarious conditions, including situations of extreme weather, man-made disasters, unsafe situations, and even domestic violence.

Aspire News

Our first disaster and crisis app comes from Robin McGraw, wife of TV personality Dr. Phil. Designed for users who need help out of treacherous domestic abuse situations, this clever app disguises itself as a common mobile app. The front page of the app functions just like a news aggregator, so potentially violent partners don’t suspect a thing. In reality, users need only tap the help section to bring up a page listing local domestic violence resources. Not only that, tapping the top bar three times activates a “Go Button”. Users assign chosen emergency contacts to this panic button, so when pressed contacts are instantly alerted of a violent situation. The app’s creators state that this app is not a replacement for dialing 911, but it may be an effective way to contact supportive people in situations where you are at greater risk by contacting emergency personnel. It’s a good idea to speak to your emergency contacts before hand about the app, so you can ask them to call 911 for you any time you activate the panic button.

Circle of Six

Circle of Six is another effective disaster and crisis app. Designed for college students, this app lets users who need help promptly and discreetly contact six predetermined people. Available for both iPhone and Android, the app relies on visual buttons that send instructions to your contacts so others don’t know what you’re doing. Circle of Six lets you tell your contacts a variety of things including if you need a ride home, need an interruption, or are in the potentially dangerous situation. This app is exceptionally helpful for situations where you need help, but does not let users contact emergency services directly.

Panic Button

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Another disaster and crisis app for both iPhone and Android is Panic Button. This app allows you to quickly and easily send panic messages via text message, Twitter, Facebook, or even email. This is a spectacular app for getting a hold of friends and family if you are in distress, but also neglects to provide users a direct link to emergency services.

Disaster Alert

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    This global disaster and crisis app for iPhone alerts users to active hazards around the world. This app helps users monitor hazards as well as alert users to early warnings for a variety of events. Events you can monitor include hurricanes, tropical storms, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, storms, wildfires, man-made disasters, as well as National Weather Service alerts in Hawaii. This streamlined, efficient way to see what areas are affected by a disaster also aims to add other hazards in the future. In addition, you can enable push notifications to automatically receive updates for hazards in your area. Such an involved, far-reaching app is supremely helpful for users looking to monitor hazards nearby or near loved ones.

    Hurricane Tracker

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      Similarly, Hurricane Tracker alerts users to developing hurricanes throughout the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern Pacific, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaii. This app uses original maps and graphics to keep you up-to-date on a storms progression. This is another crisis and disaster app that users can opt for push notifications, to be automatically notified if the storm intensifies or change of course. This app is only available for iOS and costs $2.99. This app presents users with a highly accessible way to track hurricanes, but does not offer information on other types of natural disasters.

      Emergency Radio

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        Emergency Radio is another disaster and crisis app that stands to be extremely useful during times of hazards or disasters. This award-winning police scanner app allows you to listen to live feeds from police, fire, railroad, air traffic, train, EMS, Coast Guard, as well as NOAA weather information. The app features thousands of live radio streams, with new locations added every day. Currently, the app includes feeds from most United States locations, as well as several locations in Canada and Europe. This app is only for iOS and costs $1.99, but is useful in a variety of disasters.

        FEMA

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          The federal emergency management agency’s official app is another brilliant safety app. Tailored mainly to the United States, this disaster and crisis app includes information on how to stay safe or recover from disasters, as well as a live map of FEMA disaster recovery shelters. However, this app is also helpful for those outside of the United States because it includes important information on how to prepare for various types of disasters, as well as interactive checklists for emergency kits. An uncommonly broad tool, The FEMA app is sensational for both preparing for and surviving a disaster, and is available for free on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

          First Aid By American Red Cross

          The First Aid App from the American Red Cross is another extremely helpful free disaster and crisis app for Apple and Android devices. Mainly geared towards every day emergencies, this app provides interactive videos and step-by-step advice for first aid. Not only that, the app includes interactive quizzes for those looking to learn first aid before disaster strikes. The app also includes safety tips for severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies, as well as a simple way to call 911 directly from the app. Most impressively, because the app relies on pre-loaded content, you can access all the features of the app (besides contacting 911) even without signal or Internet connection. This makes the app extremely useful any time you need first aid advice, plus the app includes an easy way to toggle between English and Spanish instructions.

          Gaurdly

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          This impressive multitasking disaster and crisis app is helpful for users in all types of situations. Gaurdly let’s you program numbers into different groups, allowing you to contact exactly the group you need in different situations. For example, Gaurdly includes an easy way to contact 911, but also allows you to program in services like campus police or local security. Not only that, this app lets users discreetly contact emergency services via messaging for situations where calling emergency services would put you in jeopardy. Additionally, this app includes a emergency beacon that when activated plays a repeating whistle sound at full volume. Finally, this app integrates impressive collaboration with your emergency contacts. You can configure the app so that contacts closest to you are notified by email, telephone call, and text message should you enlist emergency help through the app. Plus, the app pairs with the Gaurdly online emergency response page, so emergency contacts and response personnel can track where you are. The app also notifies you of where your emergency contacts are located in case you need to find your nearest friend. This heavyweight app brings heaps of practical crisis features to the table and is free for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.

          bSafe

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            bSafe is a recent app that also hosts a multitude of useful features. Simply add friend’s contact details to this disaster and crisis app who you need in case of emergency. You can add multiple friends, or just keep it to a few close contacts. You also choose one emergency contact as your primary contact. When this app is open, the screen stays on regardless of your power saving features. Simply hit the alarm button if you are in a dangerous situation. Friends added to the app receive a text message, but your primary contact will receive a text as well as a call. Not only that, this app immediately begins recording video, audio, and broadcasting your location to your emergency contacts when the panic button is pressed. The app also includes two more helpful features. The first is a timer mode, perfect for jogs or quick errands. If you do not shut off the app before the timer goes off, your friends are alerted that you’re in a potentially dangerous situation. Second, bSafe allows you to program a fake call from contacts in your phone. You can set up a call on a timer to get you out of bad or awkward situations. The app also allows you to broadcast your location at any time making meet ups with friends easy, but you can also hide your location if you prefer.

            OnWatchOnCampus

            This simple app boils down the most important features for a disaster or crisis app. Created to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses, this app allows you to instantly call 911, call campus police, or call both 911 and your emergency contacts. should you alert emergency responders that you need help, the app instantly shares your GPS location. Additionally, this app lets you broadcast your current location to friends, as well as alert friends when you have safely arrived at your destination. The app is free to install and comes with a 30 day free trial. After your free trial, “Call 911” and “Call Campus Police” features are free and active forever. To also alert your emergency contacts and activate the “Arrived Safe” button, this app requires a $9.99 yearly subscription or a $.99 monthly subscription.

            MyForce

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            Another impressive personal safety app is my force. Like other safety apps, this app allows you to send an alert anytime you feel unsafe. Unlike other safety apps, myForce connects you to a live security professional who is informed of your location, instead of contacting friends or family. Your phone automatically records and broadcasts audio, video, and GPS information to this security agent. The person on the other end then notifies the appropriate authorities in your area to ensure you receive the help you need. Connecting users in distress to a human with access to your phones GPS data allows you a personalized response to any situation.

            Hollaback!

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              Hollaback is a unique app that strives to end street harassment. Users can submit times and locations where they were harassed, as well as upload a photo of the harasser. Though the app does not connect users with emergency services, it does provide users a way to draw attention to potentially chronic harassers, as well as avoid areas where harassment is common. The app is a part of the nonprofit group Hollaback’s efforts to end street harassment through greater awareness, as well as showing others how harmful offhand comments can be. 

              Safety Check

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                One incredibly helpful fresh tool for natural disasters is Safety Check, a new feature from Facebook. This new way to communicate with loved ones during major catastrophes activates automatically and does not require any additional downloads. Should a natural disaster strike, you will automatically receive a Facebook notification asking if you are okay. Facebook determines whether you are near a disaster based on the city listed in your profile, where are you are using the Internet from, or your last location if you use nearby location awareness tools. When prompted, you can select the “I’m safe” button to generate a newsfeed story that lets your friends and family know you’re okay. This new feature also includes an option to let others know you are outside the area affected by the disaster. Additionally, should your friends be affected by a disaster, you can click on their safety update to access the Safety Check bookmark and see a list of updates from friends who are safe. 

                Kitestring

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                  Finally, Kitestring is a free service worth mentioning, despite the fact that it works even if you don’t have a smart phone. Simply provide your phone number and name to the Kitestring website, which generates a unique Kitestring contact address just for you. Add this number to your phone to seamlessly access the safety service from anywhere. To set an alert anytime you are in an unsure situation, send a text with how many minutes later the service should check up on you. Kitestring will then send you a text asking if you’re okay that many minutes later. If you do not respond, Kitestring sends a personalized alert message to your emergency contacts. Not only is this service free, all it requires is an online sign-up so you don’t need to download any additional software.

                  Featured photo credit: DVIDSHUB via flickr.com

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                  Published on November 9, 2018

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                  Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                  So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                  6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                  When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                  Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                  To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                  In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                  • Microsoft Excel
                  • Microsoft Access
                  • Statistics
                  • Data Analytics
                  • Adobe Campaign
                  • Quickbooks
                  • XML Database management system
                  • Filemaker Pro
                  • MATLAB
                  • Hive
                  • FORTRAN
                  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                  • SAS

                  2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                  Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                  Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                  • Content Management System (CMS)
                  • Google Analytics
                  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                  • Email Marketing
                  • Web Page Design
                  • WordPress
                  • Digital Media
                  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                  • Campaign Management Software

                  3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                  A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                  • Adobe Photoshop
                  • Adobe InDesign
                  • Adobe Illustrator
                  • AutoCAD
                  • CorelDRAW
                  • Microsoft Visual Studio
                  • Maya
                  • Microsoft Word
                  • Microsoft Publisher
                  • Operating Digital Cameras

                  4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                  The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                  To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                  • HTML
                  • C/C++
                  • Java
                  • Python
                  • XML
                  • UI/UX
                  • LINUX
                  • CISC and RISC architecture
                  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                  • Memory Management
                  • PCB Layout
                  • SQL

                  5. IT Troubleshooting

                  Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                  So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                  • Backup management
                  • Diagnostics
                  • End User support
                  • Client-Server management
                  • Installation and configuration
                  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                  • System administration
                  • Tech support

                  6. Enterprise Systems

                  Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                  Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                  The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                  Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                  Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                  Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                  1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                  a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                  Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                  b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                  This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                  c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                  Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                  Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                  2. Rule the Social Media World

                  a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                  Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                  From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                  b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                  This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                  c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                  Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                  Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                  3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                  a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                  From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                  b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                  Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                  The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                  c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                  The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                  4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                  a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                  It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                  From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                  b. Canva Design School

                  From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                  c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                  62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                  d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                  The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                  Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                  5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                  a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                  IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                  It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                  b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                  The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                  Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                  The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                  Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                  Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                  It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                  Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                  2. Work on Your Efficiency

                  Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                  For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                  3. Look for Shortcuts

                  Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                  4. Apply for an Internship

                  Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                  By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                  The Bottom Line

                  Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                  So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                  Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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