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Israel

Incoming Hamas Rockets? There's An App For That

In a shelter in Tel Aviv earlier this month
In a shelter in Tel Aviv earlier this month
Omer Kabir

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

Secure Spaces

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

Panic Pro

This app has practically the same functions as Red Panic Button, but is free of charge for iPhone users.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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