Pocket Shelter: The Disaster App That Just Might Save Your Life

Pocket Shelter Early Earthquake Warning

Sometimes it’s easy to believe that, in our sophisticated high-tech society, we are immune to the dangers of natural disasters. Unfortunately, this is not true. In a country like Japan, earthquakes and other natural disasters are a fact of life. While technology cannot eliminate them, new products and services can do a lot to minimize risk. Pocket Shelter is just that: a disaster preparedness app that just might save your life.

As a self-confessed earthquake-phobe, I tried it out to see if it really has what it takes to keep us safe if the worst were to occur.

It features early earthquake warnings

An “Earthquake Early Warning” is a warning issued when an earthquake is detected by the Japan Meteorological Agency, along with guidelines on how to react. In the event of an early earthquake warning, you may have a few seconds up to several minutes to react after receiving the warning, which can be enough time to get away from dangerous areas or seek shelter.

In the event of a disaster, Pocket Shelter offers real time, in-depth information in your language.

Early Earthquake Warnings in Japanese are broadcast on TV, radio, and now should come automatically through to your smartphone. The trouble is, you don’t have any control of when or how those warnings are transmitted to you — which is particularly a problem if you don’t read Japanese.

A primary function of Pocket Shelter is to get warnings to you, in your own language, wherever you are. The warnings also contain vital information tailored to your location on the nearest earthquake resistant structures and shelters.

User-friendly disaster maps have offline capability

City wards usually publish information about the location of shelters in their areas but typically this is either in Japanese only or on a print out that you get when you first register, then …continue reading