Many academics, scholars, and historians have rightly called the 1945-1991 post-World War II era as a period of the “Long Peace.
But with the First Gulf War, that relative peace ended, and we began a new era that did not have multi-nation wars of scale, but instead a globally increasing incidence of crime, conflict, and confrontation in many countries.
The MENA region, with its many sectarian and political problems, not to mention unemployment and the resulting crime, is especially vulnerable and a prime example of that.
Not surprisingly, the question of safety and security is a major headache for corporates and professionals looking to do business here.
Technology might have a way to alleviate those concerns, if not fully answer them, says the team behind a new app available now on iOS and Android.
A free-to-use app, Alert is a handy tool for business travelers in conflict and crime-ridden parts of the world that we reviewed this last month on a trip to India.
The USP of the app is its seamless character—as the user enters a new country, the app recognizes his location and updates emergency phone numbers that one may need.
In all, Alert can connect users to local fire departments, police services, ambulance services, and official embassies in 230 countries around the world. We tried and got it to connect us to the local police services in Gurgaon, a suburban extension of India’s capital city of New Delhi.
Apart from numbers, the app also offers coordinates and driving directions to the nearest police station, hospital, pharmacy, gas station, and even the closest public restrooms.
Available in six languages, Alert also comes with an emergency feature, which allows the user to send an automated SMS with location coordinates to friends and family should disaster strike.
Travelers can also regularly update their selected contacts of their location using a ‘check-in’ feature.
But if it’s only about getting out of a smaller sticky situation, users can use the ‘Call Back’ button to get a ‘call’ from anyone they wish—well not exactly, but you can program the Caller ID to create the impression of a phone call from any name you choose.
According to the team behind the app, Alert is designed to help keep people safe across situations and countries. “It’s always good to have something like this handy…it doesn’t even have to be for emergencies.”