The phone app helped kept lives during Hurricane Harvey

Read how the Zello app assisted civilian first responders find and rescue people stuck in Harvey’s flood seas.

Your phone can seem like a lifesaver at times. But this particular story from the Houston Share shows how a miniature computer that can install and run apps literally saved life. You need to read Holly Hartman’s story to understand how anyone with a phone app, wherever they are, can help when a terrible situation happens. It’s a powerful tale that just might enable you to get to tears: both in the dire situation of a number of Harvey’s victims and how one individual was able to step up and really make a difference.

Read: I downloaded a good app. And suddenly, has been part of the Cajun Navy.

Additionally, it shows how the things we all use every day are now indispensable. The same phone you use to play a game or watch Youtube . com videos with is also an instrument that an amazing group of regular people used to save lives. Let that sink in for a flash: people didn’t die due to a smartphone app.

The app in question is Zello PTT Walkie Talkie. It’s actual well done but not anything especially special. What matters would be that the right people all installed it and did everything they could to let people in the Houston area understand that they could install it and be able to call for help. In the hrs before Harvey made landfall, Twitter and Facebook posts telling everybody to install Zello were plentiful. We’re seeing the same thing nowadays with Hurricane Irma ready to wreck SouthWest Florida, plus hopefully, it can make the same difference.

Hurricanes don’t discriminate: everyone left behind is at risk.

If you’ve never been through a major hurricane it’s hard to understand what conditions are like. You’re essentially isolated and on your own until the storm lets up enough for emergency responders to carry out their jobs. And there will always be people who stayed as well as didn’t evacuate. Some simply because they can’t and others who simply don’t want to. I was within the latter group when Hurricane Andrew happened and invested a few hours trapped in a Group K (a small comfort store) with four other people, hoping the water wouldn’t obtain high enough to block us all. Even when the water finally stopped rising, we all had been stuck until we were in a position to flag down a save boat.

This was before the mobile phone age. We had no way of letting anyone know exactly where we were or our scenario. Calling 911 during a hurricane is futile because there will never be enough operators and dispatchers to take the calls coming in, and your call for help will likely be unanswered. If you are unfortunate sufficient, or as in my situation, stubborn enough, to not depart when advised you’re by yourself. It’s wonderful that we now have the various tools to be less isolated and can hear a friendly voice just when we need one.

In case you are in the path of Irma and didn’t evacuate to a safe shelter, make sure you have got Zello installed. If you’re able and willing to help, possibly in the field or to take phone calls, please do the same. You will find lives on the line.

Download: Zello PTT Walkie Talkie (free) from Google Play

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