Whether you’re going on a blind date, meeting someone from Craigslist, planning a camping trip, or simply staying out late, it’s important to have a failsafe in case something goes awry. With the violent crime rate on a rise, it’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan when you’re alone or going into uncharted territory, as the situation may call for you to notify the authorities without being noticed. Luckily, technology has got you covered, and there are now several different mobile apps available, both free and paid, that can assist you in this area. Here are just a few great mobile apps that you can use to contact 911 discretely if you ever find yourself in danger. However, you must ensure that the “text-to-911”option is available in your area before downloading any of these apps.
The SafeTrek app works by automatically sending police to your exact location through 2 easy steps. If you sense danger or feel scared and you need assistance from your local police you simply open the app and hold down your thumb on the ‘safe button.’ Once you release the button, the police will be contacted within 10 seconds with your location, name, and emergency. However, if you feel the danger has passed and you are safe, you should enter your secret 4-digit pin to prevent the app from calling the police.
According to their website, SafeTrek can determine your location with an accuracy of up to 5 meters away within 5 seconds, compared to a 911 call which can take over 6 minutes, and only gives a location accuracy of 50 – 300 meters.
SafeTrek works all across the United States and can be found on the App Store and Google Play Store. The pricing for the app starts at $2.99 per month, but SafeTrek offers a free trial of 30 days, which you can use to test out the app to find out if it’s for you.
SirenGPS acts as a panic button to contact your local police, fire department, or hospital when you need help. Since the app works almost everywhere in the world, you can use it while you’re on vacation or on a business trip. The app has the ability to create a profile detailing vital information such as your address, emergency contact numbers, allergies, medical condition, and more. The only downside to this feature is that your community needs to be subscribed to Siren 911 in order for your profile and location to be sent, but the panic button is always available.
When traveling the app will automatically detect a change in the country you are in and update the emergency numbers accordingly. It is possible to manually change the location and numbers, but SirenGPS expresses caution when using this feature. They also warn that the continued use of GPS running in the background can decrease the life of your phone battery dramatically. Customers have complained about the drainage of their batteries due to the constant GPS monitoring.
The SirenGPS app is available on both iOS and Android.
- React Mobile
The React Mobile app works alongside with the React Sidekick, which is a Bluetooth panic button. When you pair the React Sidekick with your mobile phone, you can quickly send out a widespread emergency alert to either your most trusted contacts or local authorities with just the click of a button and without having access to or unlocking your phone. As long as your phone is within a range of 100ft to your Sidekick, it will work.
The app itself comes with a variety of features including automatic 911 dialing support, worldwide emergency support, location share with friends through the “Follow-Me” Real-Time Tracking function, emergency alerts via text message and email, and even the ability to post emergency alerts to Facebook and Twitter.
The “Follow-Me” feature can be used when you want to alert specific contacts that you will be going somewhere that might be dangerous. Once you activate this mode on the app an email and text message is sent to your selected contacts with a link to a website where they can track your location in real-time. The message can also include your destination, the type of business you’re on, and how long you’re expected to be at the location. If something happens to you while you’re in the “Follow-Me” mode you can switch to the “Help Me” mode in order to contact authorities. However, once you feel that you are safe, simply switch your mode to “I’m Fine” and your contacts will be notified.
The React Mobile app is available for both iOS and Android.
This final app is mainly catered to College and University students, as it provides an option to contact campus police. The idea came about in response to a challenge held by the Obama Administration called Apps Against Abuse. The initiative was led by Vice President Joe Biden in an attempt to capture the attention of software developers in order to address the high number of sexual violence and abuse of college-aged young women, which, according to OnWatchOnCampus, has a statistic of 1 in 5. Jill Campbell took on this challenge and, with the help of her team, created the app.
The app works by sending out a “Watch” to campus police, which is a message that you configure beforehand. It can also be used to contact the local authorities, as well as any predetermined emergency contact/s you set in place by sending them a text, an email, or even a Facebook message. It is available for both iOS and Android and comes with a 30-day free trial, after which, you can subscribe for the full features for either $9.99 per year or 99 cents per month.
- Red Panic Button
The Red Panic Button App allows you to instantly inform your family and friends if you’re in distress by sending them a message with your location. Recently, the app has also added the feature to include an Emergency Number that can be called by pressing the red button. The app is designed for personal security, your loved one’s security, the security of transporters and varying professionals, and lastly, the security of the elderly and disabled.
Some key features of the Red Panic Button mobile app are integration with Twitter, voice note emailing, and the customization of your alert text. Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android you can easily access the Red Panic Button.
Honorable Mention – ICE Standard
Although ICE Standard doesn’t contact the police for you when you’re in danger, it’s still an app that’s worth looking into. ICE Standard prides itself on being the worlds #1 emergency response toolkit. What it does is provides first responders with a detailed medical profile of you on the lock screen of your smartphone.
Using color codes, critical information about your medical condition can be easily conveyed to whoever is providing first-aid care to you. ICE Standard categorizes information by placing high-risk information in red, telling EMT’s of any severe allergies or health conditions, information in yellow is about any medication you are on, and green means “good-to-go.”
The ICE Standard app is catered for disasters, travelers, parents, and accidents. The app has been recommended by over 14,000 Hospitals, Medical Clinics and Medical Schools in the United States. It has also been featured on The Today Show and in the Costco Connections Magazine. The app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
Apps like these become useful in tough emergency situations when you are unsure of the location you are in, you are in a panic, or are physically unable to speak to a first responder. Please note, however, that whenever possible, your first response should be to contact the authorities directly because an app can malfunction. Never rely solely on mobile apps for help, but also use other means of safeguarding yourself in emergency situations.
If you have questions about any of the aforementioned apps above be sure to follow the links to the manufacturer’s websites for more information. Are there any apps that you would have liked to see on the list? Let us know in the comments below.