HelpBridge: a New Mobile App to Get Help and Give Help During a Disaster

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HelpBridge: a New Mobile App to Get Help and Give Help During a Disaster

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 1:35pm

HelpBridge: a new mobile app to get help and give help during a disaster

Microsoft Citizenship Team
16 Jan 2013 6:00 AM

Microsoft is today announcing a new mobile app called HelpBridge that is designed to help you connect with the people that matter to you most during a large scale natural disaster. It also enables you to give your money, time and resources to support relief and rebuilding efforts.

HelpBridge is available as a free download on Windows Phone, Android and iOS today.

 

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You can get HelpBridge here

So once you’ve installed HelpBridge, how does it work?

Get Help with HelpBridge

  • HelpBridge enables you to build a list of people who you would want to contact in an emergency. With one swipe you can let all those people know if you’re OK or if you need help via SMS, email and/or Facebook. The alert can also optionally provide your exact location via your phone’s GPS capabilities.

 

Give Help with HelpBridge

Helpbridge provides three easy ways to support relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of a disaster.

  • Donate money: You can use the application to easily donate funds to a broad range of relief agencies assisting victims of a disaster including the American Red Cross, CARE, Global Giving and many more.
  • Donate goods: You can discover what goods and resources relief agencies on the ground need, and the application makes it easy for you to get the right goods to the right place.
  • Volunteer your time: HelpBridge provides you with a list of real-time volunteering opportunities posted by relief agencies, enabling you to directly or indirectly support relief efforts with your time.

 

We’ve worked with a range of relief agencies and nonprofits during the development of HelpBridge.

“We are grateful to our partner Microsoft who understands the importance of connecting loved ones after disasters and provides ways for individuals to donate their time and dollars to help those in need through the Red Cross,” said Neal Litvack, Chief Development Officer of the American Red Cross.

“Mobile phones have become one of the key tools for people in disaster affected areas to communicate, not only with their friends, but also with first responders. The simpler we can make it for people to let others know if they are fine or if they need assistance, the more likely they are of being able to get that information out,” said Gisli Olaffson, Emergency Response Director, NetHope. “Microsoft’s HelpBridge mobile app is a great addition to the tools people have for reporting their needs and their status following any disaster.”

 

HelpBridge is a mobile app with the application back-end running on Microsoft Windows Azure which provides a rich and reliable web, application and data platform in the cloud.

 

 

Home ScreenI Need Help Screen
Quickly let people know how and where you are

 

Second level TexttoGive Screen

Opportunity Details Screen

Make donations to relief agencies from your mobile device

 

The key to responding to a disaster is being prepared

HelpBridge is a useful part of your disaster preparation but you also need to think about what other ways you can get prepared ahead of an unexpected event.

For example, what are the key documents that you should back up online so you can access them from any location? Have you thought about completing a family emergency plan? What about your pets? There’s some good tips and resources here.

HelpBridge is a useful tool to help you get help and give help during a disaster. Download the app today as part of your disaster preparedness.

As Petra Nemcova, a disaster survivor and founder of Happy Hearts Fund noted:

“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”

 

Note: HelpBridge is only available in the United States.

Click here for more information about HelpBridge