An app to send "Help/SOS" alerts to the app's network or community?
May 18, 2015 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a solution for a small group so that we could download an app and join the app's community and then in an emergency, for example, push an SOS button and all of the people in the community would get an alert on their phones (if they're connected of course) of the emergency. I know there are solutions similar to this but my app searching skills are failing me.

There are some solutions for this that are very expensive ($10 per person per month, for example) but I'm looking for a one-time fee or minimal regular fee. I'm trying to find something similar to what I've seen for a whole load of GPS tracker systems; except for people to push it themselves, not for items or animals that are lost or wander off.

Ideally it would send out GPS details with the alert and uber-ideally, it would only actually alert those other members of the community that were in a certain proximity (1-2km for example) of the victim.

Note - we aren't in the US or any major country of any description, so assume that there is no commercial solution that would service us through separate functionality. It needs to be an app, can be iOS or Android. And EMS is unreliable and, in any event, always going to be slower than a neighbour who might have the right skills. (And yes, legal disclaimers for users etc, consider me warned.)
posted by HopStopDon'tShop to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not a commercial service and it wouldn't distinguish between nearby or not-nearby community members, but a device. There are phones that have an SOS button that can be programmed to text or call people on your emergency list in sequence.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:23 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is an app called Circle of 6 that was originally designed for college students who needed to alert friends and family of emergencies quickly. I think I used it once, and maybe there are newer versions out now. You can add 6 people in a circle and tap a button in an emergency and it will alert all of them.
posted by buttonedup at 6:29 AM on May 18, 2015

Best answer: Firechat might fit the bill, although it's more of a wide-band distribution thing. My impression was it was mainly used by people in large protest situations, but it came in handy recently when we had a massive blackout in the Netherlands.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:45 AM on May 18, 2015

Best answer: Life 360 might meet your needs. (Sorry for lack of linking. I'm on my phone.)
posted by _Mona_ at 7:41 AM on May 18, 2015

Best answer: There is also Lassy Project which seems designed for missing children, but I suspect can be used generically.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:47 AM on May 18, 2015

Response by poster: Fantastic - thanks for all the responses, these all have at least one of the key elements that we're looking for; now we want to put it all together.

Somebody else on another channel sent me to the Help! app (also here), which is pretty much exactly what we're looking for - now we will try to find a way to actually use that outside of the Netherlands and without Vodafone.

Thanks again.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 12:47 PM on May 18, 2015

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