VTGemini: Universal iOS Application for Guided Emergency Response and Notification for the Virginia Tech Community

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Date
2013-05-14
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

The ubiquitous use of mobile devices and smartphones in the United States presents an interesting opportunity for application developers with respect to emergency management. Software engineers from the federal government to individuals have recognized the unique prospect of utilizing always-connected devices to assist in emergency notification, preparedness, and response. The federal government has instituted and ratified multiple acts and mandates with respect to mobile communications during a crisis such as the Commercial Mobile Alert System. Likewise, individual organizations and developers have created mobile applications that access weather alerts from the National Weather Service. Many of these applications utilize push notification architectures to notify users and stakeholders about impeding emergency situations. While most of these applications are geared towards a national audience, there are a few that are highly granular with a focus on the local community. This thesis presents a universal iOS application running on all iOS mobile devices: iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch for the Virginia Tech community. The application is highly granular with respect to emergency response guidance and notification by providing clear, concise, and supportive information to citizens during a crisis. Additionally, the application provides another medium of delivery for the Office of Emergency Management at Virginia Tech to potentially mitigate the extent of collateral damage and secondary incidents while saving lives.

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Keywords
Emergency management, iOS mobile software engineering, emergency notification, emergency guidance
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