Microsoft_HelpbridgeAs we fight through the teeth of winter, many locals are still asking if they’re really ready for the next big storm.

Often the answer is “no.” And even when you think you have a plan in place, including an agreed upon meeting spot for family members, food, water and medical supplies, things can quickly get out of hand when the skies darken, the snow hits and the power goes out. Earlier this year, Director Kurt Schwartz told residents they must continually prepare for the region’s next major storm.

Many are turning to technology for an added layer of security. During times of disaster, social media and texting are quick and effective ways to communicate with friends and family, but it’s difficult to update multiple people on multiple sites. Last year, Microsoft launched HelpBridge, an app designed to help people connect with one another, and find volunteer and donation opportunities during a disaster.

HelpBridge is free across multiple platforms including Windows Phone, Android and iOS. It allows you to send status updates to pre-selected contact groups via email, SMS, Twitter and Facebook. Through your phone’s GPS capabilities you can also choose whether to share your location in your alerts, which can be especially helpful if you’re lost and need help.

The app also lets you connect with people who need help outside of the New England area. By downloading HelpBridge, you can find ways to volunteer or donate to the victims of disasters, like those affected by the recent volcano eruption in Japan.

Don’t wait for the next warning, download the HelpBridge app today.

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One of the things I love most about Boston is its commitment to helping others; our city is home to a number of non-profit and community improvement organizations that work locally, nationally and globally. While we often focus on the non-profit nature of these organizations, it’s easy to overlook that these groups operate like a […]