Smartphones to help save lives in natural disasters

Published 04.10.2019 02:04
Thanks to a number of applications, smartphones today are able to provide life-saving tools during a natural disaster like an earthquake.
Thanks to a number of applications, smartphones today are able to provide life-saving tools during a natural disaster like an earthquake.

The terrible memories of the Aug. 17, 1999 earthquake came rushing back after a recent earthquake off the coast of Istanbul's Silivri district. In case of an earthquake or even worse, if we are trapped under debris, we may be sure to have nothing but our smartphones.

At the turn of 20 years since the İzmit earthquake, which killed more than 17,000 people on Aug. 17, 1999, Turkey was reminded once again of the threat when a 5.8 magnitude tremor caught Istanbul underprepared.

The quake that hit Istanbul's Silivri on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m., caused mass panic in Turkey's most populated city and put the city and its citizens' disaster preparedness to the test.

Twenty years ago, we did not have smartphones. But the telephone network was incapable of handling requests when everyone tried to reach their relatives. Operators may say that a collapse could take place at any given time, anywhere in the world. But we need to find the answer to why no institution has come up with alternatives. In fact, given the smart nature of communication networks and telephones, excuses are inadequate. So, we should use this earthquake, which thankfully led to no loss of life, as a wakeup call.

Well, let us see what we can do with our devices. We have an earthquake education manual prepared by the Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) on However, we need to support AKUT to improve its visual content.

Looking at similar examples abroad, most of the applications at our disposal are inadequate or outdated. Video training content is insufficient. But given Turkey is located in an active earthquake zone, we must act immediately.

Nevertheless, let us review our applications as follows. You can download applications of the governmental and nongovernmental organizations to iOS-operated iPhone and Android-based phones to get ready for an earthquake.


In case of an earthquake, you can see the severity, the places where it is effective and the damages that have occurred so far on the eAFAD application. The app provides detailed information about Yellow Alarm, Red Alarm, and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) Alarm, describing each alarm and measures to be taken. However, I could not run the demos of the alarm sounds on the phone. All of the recent threats were listed.

We do not know when and how earthquakes will occur. The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) app describes the most common injuries, fractures, dislocations, sprains, hemorrhages, heat balance disturbance and many other issues in both written and illustrated form. However, video content on them will make it better. If you also participate in a first aid course along with this application, you may be able to save lives in an educated way.

Earthquake information system

The app provides information after earthquakes and also includes the latest earthquakes, the history of earthquakes and a survey that measures your reactions after the quake.

However, even in this application, there is no information about what to do during the earthquake. The latest earthquakes are shown on the map with red dots on the fault line.

"Emergency Situations" prepared by the Health Ministry General Directorate of Health Promotion writes what should be done in different scenarios. Although it is explained what to do for almost every title, there is no title on the earthquake. The content is fully text-based, even though it is opened from a visual box. So, video content does not exist in this application either. It includes the entire list of emergency phones.

Blood comes to the fore as the most urgent need as a result of injuries in natural disasters. The Save Life (Hayat Kurtar) app helps you when you enter the blood group you are looking for and the location of your health institution. The app does not have to find your blood but only shares the data you enter for informational purposes.

We should use smartwatches more

Twenty years ago, we did not have smartphones or smartwatches. Smartwatches will provide access to a lot of information even if we do not have the phone. Moreover, it will facilitate the tracking of many vital data during the earthquake. All applications must be smartwatch compatible. However, the battery life of the watches should be longer.

Today, the vast majority of internet traffic is from the video content, but it is not available in terms of an earthquake and first-aid practices. With video content, you can attract the attention of the smartphone generation.

Update list: iPhone reboots

The map application in the latest iOS update 13.1 version allows users to see what awaits them on the go and enable them to get directions with one touch.

From photoshoots to photo albums, from game accessories to new Memojis, you can update your iPhone with the new 13.0 version. Moreover, before we could write the final version, 13.1 just came out as the newest update.

No one lives in enough luxury to change their smartphone every year. So, do the old versions mourn when new models come out? The updates that provide smartphone renewal increase a phone's capabilities while extending its lifetime. Smartphones never come out in the perfect form. As users experience, we see error-free updates in front of us. And that is not all. Beta versions that software developers began trials for at the beginning of June are being updated until the latest release. Once millions of phones have been updated, they once again start nitpicking. All these updates allow old models to be renewed while using the allure and capabilities of the new models to the fullest.

My favorite feature of the new update is Dark Mode. With all the apps updated, it adds an impressive new look to your iPhone. If your eyes are having trouble in low light like me, the dark mode will work for you. This feature has been carefully designed to ensure that no items on the screen wears out your eyes and integrates seamlessly into the entire system. Furthermore, it can be easily opened from the Control Center or set to automatically activate at night. Another nice feature is that you have a better experience with photo albums and edits. A new view of your unique moments edited by day, month and year make it easy to find the exact photo you are looking for.

You can also add a great monochrome effect to the photos you take in portrait mode and use almost all of the tools and effects, such as rotation, cropping and auto-healing, in the video as well.

Create your own Memoji

Your Memoji automatically turns into a sticker pack on your keyboard. You can then use them in messages, mail and third-party applications. You decide how your friends will see you with the Memojis you prepare. It is easy to choose the name, photo and even Memoji they will see when you contact them.

Calendar and map applications have also been updated. So, you can see what awaits you all day on the go. You can get directions with one-touch or join a meeting on your phone.

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