TEL AVIV — Don’t know where to run when you hear the sirens? Want to send a distress signal in an emergency to security forces or assure your family you’re okay with a tweet? Here is a list of the latest smartphone applications that are getting downloaded during the current military "Operation Protective Edge," as dozens of missiles are fired into Israeli territory.
Mobile "Color Red"
Maybe this is the most important app during these stressful times because it might make a difference in giving you those precious extra few seconds to get to a protected space. Thanks to this app, you will get an immediate warning when the alarm that indicates the launch of a rocket goes off. You can choose whether to receive alarm warnings in specific areas, and even choose the sound of the alarm. The app is powered by volunteers.
Price: Free; Availability: Android, iPhone
If the warning sirens go off and you’re in the middle of the street, this app allows you to pinpoint the nearest secure space and shows you how to get there. You can choose to display protected spaces within a predefined radius or an unlimited one, and the app is updated regularly with new protected spaces that have been set up.
Price: Free; Availability: iPhone
Shelter list in Tel Aviv by location
The name of this app says it all. Tel Aviv has been within Hamas’ range of fire since the last military operation, but only during the current one has it became a target where rockets are fired on a regular basis and citizens can be caught in the middle of the street. Now though, people in Tel Aviv can use this app to locate their nearest shelter. Plus, the app also has news updates and videos explaining how to make a secure room at home according to regulations.
Price: Free; Availability: Android
Red Panic Button
During an emergency, the possibility to send out a distress signal, or let people know you’re OK is extremely important. This app allows you to send emergency messages — including your location based on your GPS — to a selected number of contacts in a text message or via email. You can call an emergency line by pushing just one button. If you want you even can post a tweet that you have prepared beforehand in the app and when the time comes you push the big red button. Remember though that emails and tweets require Internet access which may not be available during an emergency. Text messages are based on a normal reception and therefore you should prepare a few for any kind of trouble you might run into.
Price: $2.90 on iPhone; Free on Android
This app has practically the same functions as Red Panic Button, but is free of charge for iPhone users.