Writing for the Windows Phone Blog this week, Michael Stroh – a technology writer and member of the engineering teams that created both Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 – conjured frightening memories that remain all too fresh in the minds of millions of people.
“When Hurricane Sandy mowed over the East Coast last year and the first devastating images appeared,” Stroh remembers, “two thoughts crossed my mind: Are the people I know there OK? and How can I help? I know I wasn’t alone.”
In response to the growing need for improved communication with friends and loves ones in times of emergency, Microsoft is unveiling an innovative new app called HelpBridge that makes it easier to address both of these concerns.
The app, which is free and available only in the U.S., lets you assemble a list of friends and family members who you’d want to notify in an emergency or natural disaster.
On your command, Stroh explains, HelpBridge will then quickly blast out email or text alerts (or post an emergency message on your Facebook wall) to let people know you’re safe or require aid.
Alerts can also optionally provide your precise location via your phone’s GPS signal.
Corresponding with the blog heralding the launch of the new app, Microsoft released this video to illustrate exactly how the new app works. Check it out below.