The impact of a storm, flood, drought or other natural disaster can be devastating to an area, its economy, and its people. Damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure — on top of the damage to lives — can linger for weeks, months, or years.
The critical task for authorities is to ensure they have crisis management plans and experienced real-time crisis response strategy to mitigate the potential impacts of a natural disaster. Moreover, they are responsible for immediately providing citizens with warnings, as well as educating them on the rules of conduct and protective measures in a worst-case scenario.
In order to facilitate and improve crisis communication and alerting, we were asked to develop an app to increase public awareness and ensure more effective information delivery about the potential threats.
The project was aimed to increase the level of local public welfare through the activation of the mobile application with faster and more effective information delivery about the potential threats.
We were supposed to develop a system that offers information about the potential threats for citizens all over the country. The app was also expected to educate about the general measures and safety procedures in the case of crisis situations.
In order to provide users with adequate warnings, we also had to develop users positioning system required to obtain information about specific localisation of alerts.
To complement previous channels of information distribution (websites of the governors, information strips and teletext on TV sets with terrestrial DVB signal and hybrid internet television hbbtv), we have developed a free mobile app. It provides it users with constant access to information thanks to push alerts on the phone.
Information is prepared and sent out by the provincial crisis management centres. We divided messages within the RSO into following categories: general, meteorological, hydrological, traffic, flood or drought warnings.
We provided users with an option to choose the type of message to be received and decide from which region the information will be provided. We also introduced the option of geo-localization that can be activated and set up by the user. Thanks to that, when geo-localization is switched on it enables the transfer of the warning alarms and messages adequate to the user position.
We created a fully functioning, fast-working app providing its users with customizable experience and flow of information. It successfully sends different types of alerts to ensure safety of the users.
On top of that, the RSO app contain a wide range of guidebooks on how to act in crisis situations. All the rules are described in a simple and understandable way, they are regularly updated and made available to all the users without the need of mobile app updates. RSO also offers very important educational function in regards to crisis situation procedures.
What’s particularly useful is the fact that functionalities of the mobile application may be developed and adjusted in order to identify other threats. For example, it may be a perfect tool to inform about the state of COVID-19 virus spread.
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