Emergency App – Being safe while abroad


A lot of my motivation for this app was primarily drive by my service abroad. While being in Israel was a fantastic and immersive experience, I oft felt ill-equipped in the event of an emergency. What would I do if I needed to call the police? The fire department? What if there was a natural disaster and I needed to be in touch with emergency responders? What if I needed to report my location? That question, and many more, drove me to create this prototype of an enterprise application.

What I Learned:

A few technologies were used here that I hadn’t dabbled in before. Namely: Twilio + MapKit + BootStrap

I worked with MapKit for the first time in this project. It involved not only locating my current position, but also capturing a still image of my location, zooming in on it, and sending it via text message to a predefined list of emergency contacts.

I also worked with Twilio for the first time. Since I was working with a directory of numbers, it was important to be able to verify numbers once a user signed in. So what would happen is the user would download the application, and immediately they’d be able to manually enter their own contacts. However, if they belonged to an organization group policy, I wanted to pull those emergency contacts directly from GP. So the application would take an email and then query the Django API – which would in turn also ask Twilio to send a text message to the associated number of file. This text message would contain a code that the user would need to enter to authenticate again with the rails backend. Once that was done, all the emergency contacts associated with your account would be populated.

While not exactly a big piece of technology itself. It was a fun little project to get better acquainted with Bootstrap and its CSS and Javascript tools.