Emergency Management and Texting

Text campaigns and utilizing mobile campaigns to promote health issues this week is a stroke of genius!  Although I might be sounding overzealous with that statement, but prior to this week, mobile campaigns were not even a thought in my head.  Before this class segment, I just thought of text as what our society is transitioning to for our primary means of communications.  I’ll be honest, I seldom talk on the phone for personal reasons nowadays.  Text is my primary means of contacting others outside of work.  I text my technologically unsavy parents (after I spent hours teaching them… not fun…), I text my friends, and I text my girlfriend.  It seems as a society, we have evolved to short text messages as a more convenient way of communication.  If I see a message that is not urgent, I can respond to it later.  Also, if I am busy, I can read a short text over dialing my voicemail.

However, with the advent of texting becoming the primary form of distance communication, its usage for spreading awareness of health and safety is becoming increasing used.  Texting does not have to be limited to useless and “dumb” things.  See video below:

In addition to health campaigns, just recently this year, several states have allowed people to text 911 for emergencies.  Although there are questionable outcomes.  See video:

Typos and other miscommunication errors are inevitable, but there are some benefits to this.  Say if for example the burglar was in the same room as you.  By texting your emergency to 911, the victim can remain silent and avoid the burglar.  In other emergencies, texting could possibly be a more viable option than calling.  Say for example, if a hurricane or tornado was coming, you can send a text out to an emergency management agency or point of contact and they will appropriately disseminate the information.  Sometimes calling will be ineffective because you have to wait for the signal to go through.

Obviously there are pros and cons to using mobile for emergency management.  I am not advocating solo use of this.  I am merely suggesting having the option of texting and calling so that victims can tailor their vehicle of contact depending on their specific situation.

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One thought on “Emergency Management and Texting

  1. I think you bring up a really interesting concept for texting in emergency situations. I could see how automated messages would be good as tornado warnings or post-disaster messaging, but using for 911 seems a bit off-putting. Auto-correct messes something up on my phone at least once/week, mostly quite amusing, but it would not be so amusing if I was really in a life threatening situation.

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