If this app isn’t on your phone, Steuben County officials say having it could save your life.
Preparation is a key factor when faced with natural disasters or emergencies and for Steuben county residents, this tool can help in that process.
About 1,500 users are utilizing the Ready Steuben app so far. It helps locals act before, during, and after emergency situations and sends alerts with up-to-date information.
“(It aids in) building an emergency kit, having access to information about travel, evacuation routes, and we also have a shelter identifier that’s located on the app,” Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall said.
Ready Steuben can especially come in handy during tragic events when cell towers are notorious for failing because large crowds of people, heavily concentrated in one area, are trying to dial out. This happened during the Boston marathon bombing and Las Vegas shooting.
Telecommunications networks cannot handle the spike in heavy call volume, but texting still works.
By just going to the ‘I’m Okay’ section, you can let loved ones, readily saved in group messages, know that you’re okay, if you need help, or you can ask where they are. You don’t have to be in the county to use it.
Another feature lets you send real-time damage reports to inform first responders of flooding or downed power lines on your street. You don’t even have to talk to a real person. All you do is hit the menu button, find the Damage Report section, then fill out what type of damage it is: severe weather, storm damage, power outage, or something different.
Then upload the pictures and hit submit. Damage Report should not be used in place of 911. You should still call 911 for true emergencies. This is meant for situational awareness only.
Chemung County has had this app up and running, but Steuben is happy to finally have it in place.
The free app is available for iPhone, android, and tablet users.