Sure your BlackBerry can help you connect with important contacts, but how can you use it when you really need help?
Your BlackBerry smartphone or PlayBook just might save your life. Ok, so it doesn’t double as an AED, nor will it even attempt to give you a Heimlich, but it can be used to give you that extra sense of personal security. It’s there when you need to look something up, compose an email or make a phone call, but is it really there when you need it the most? Sure it is! If you are unable to communicate for yourself, your ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers can be easily programmed to each and every letter on your BlackBerry keyboard. You can mark contacts as important in your address book. Heck, a 3 year old can be taught through song to call 911 green or press “green green green”. That’s one BlackBerry advantage that is easily overlooked; easy access to a simple phone call - a call that could save your life. There’s no fumbling around to find a phone app, it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you take a look around BlackBerry App World, you’ll find plenty of applications that should help to keep you safe as well. Let’s see what can be of use.
Best Personal Safety Apps
Also available on Android and iOS, bsafe is a GPS based alarm application. It’s equipped with a one click SOS alarm that will provide your selected contacts your GPS location. Using BlackBerry Maps, the application provides you with an easy way to create a network of potentially unlimited members, which will be the first point of contact if an emergency should arise. The rather large red SOS button on the screen is all that needs to be pushed to activate a mass sms/phone call process that will provide your network with your location. If you switch from the free to premium version, for $1.99 per month, you gain access to live GPS tracing, not just basic positioning. Also included is the Risk Mode which allows your contacts to track you live while Timer Mode is used to schedule an alarm, just in case you fail to check in at a predefined time.At this time, bSafe is only available in Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.
Anti Crime and YWCA Safety Siren
Some people say that a loud alarm may deter a potential attacker. This could be true in some areas of the world, but in other parts- criminals may not be fazed. Regardless, it’s better to have one than not. Once activated, Anti-Crime will sound a very loud alarm and will continue to do so until the password, you previously created, has been entered correctly. In addition to this, the application will transmit your location through SMS to your emergency contact. So in case your attacker grabs your phone to try and stop it, your friend knows where you are and that something is wrong.
For Canadians, there is the YWCA Safety Siren. Geared towards young women, the app not only offers a loud siren and emergency contact capabilities but also provides information on women's health and wellness.
If you are unresponsive, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your BlackBerry is as well. Think of it as a Medic Alert bracelet, but on your screen. Basically you sign up for the free service and provide important details that range from who to contact, your medical history, allergies, medications and so on. This can be done from the EmergencyLink site or from the application. Now, when you are unable to provide details, whoever is tending to you can see a screen saver on your BlackBerry with your EmergencyLink ID and a number for them to call. EmergencyLink will give them the necessary information, as well as offers to call your contact to let them know what is going on. Sometimes in an emergency situation, not everyone can keep a level head; EmergencyLink will be there, even if you can’t be all there.
Another option would be the My Info application. This free app is your ICE card. The Red Cross icon is a clear indication that your medical information is found within. With My Info, your details are clearly marked and categorized, such as; your basic information, medical information (doctor, blood type, medical condition, etc), Insurance information and your Emergency Contacts. Depending on the situation, you may want to consider which is more important the basic information in text form or detailed information via a phone call.
How many times have you found yourself in a serious, (not necessarily and emergency situation) but couldn’t remember where exactly you parked your car. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, your usually reliable memory may not be so reliable. Out of the many apps of its kind, VQ CarFinder offers two different ways in which you can find where you parked. The Automated mode requires you to connect with an in-vehicle Bluetooth or a VQ Bluetooth car charger. If you don't have either, you can always use the Manual mode to set a GPS lock on the position of your car. Not only will VQ CarFinder record and display the location of your car, but you position as well. In order to help you remember other details, such as; stall number, parking level and such, you can always leave notes in your memo pad.
AR First Aid
If you find yourself in an area where help may not come quickly, if at all, you’re going to have to try and fend for yourself. One of the first things that should come to mind is First Aid. If you can’t keep a handbook with you, your BlackBerry PlayBook is the best alternative (actually it should be the other way around with your BlackBerry PlayBook being the first choice). AR First Aid provides information on remedies for emergencies, as well as remedies for home or outdoors. This in-depth search tool helps you pin point information while you perform a self diagnosis, determine conditions such as life threatening and analyze conditions based on symptoms or signs. Keep in mind that you should always seek the advice from a medical professional, but AR First Aid will be there until you’re able to get to them.
Besides these apps, you could also use the flash on your BlackBerry as a flash light, or use an app like Google Maps, Telenav or BlackBerry Maps to show you the way. BlackBerry Traffic can help you navigate the roads and avoid traffic jams, while sharing your ETA with your contact through PIN, SMS or email. How do you use your BlackBerry to keep you safe? Which apps do you use? Let us know!