[10 October 2014] These days, an afternoon thunderstorm can easily flood streets, cause heavy traffic, and aggravate the woes of drivers and commuters. And with storms getting stronger and more frequent each year, people—especially those living in disaster-prone areas—need timely, accurate information well before disaster strikes so they can take precautionary measures to evacuate or save their belongings.
These days, an afternoon thunderstorm can easily flood streets, cause heavy traffic, and aggravate the woes of drivers and commuters.
And with storms getting stronger and more frequent each year, people—especially those living in disaster-prone areas—need timely, accurate information well before disaster strikes so they can take precautionary measures to evacuate or save their belongings.
A lot of that information is now readily available via easy-to-use mobile phone applications. These applications include RaincheckPH, Project Noah and MMDA app.
"This is one set of apps that we hope more people will use during this typhoon season by taking advantage of Smart's Free Internet offer," said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart's head of public affairs. "We should make it habit to use these apps to be prepared for possible weather disruptions."
The following mobile apps or websites can be accessed on your feature, Android, or iOS phones:
With latest data from the DOST’s Project NOAH presented in a visual, easy-to-understand manner, RaincheckPH gives you timely alerts whenever a thunderstorm or strong typhoon is headed your way. Just pick your location from the list of areas provided by the app and you’ll receive accurate notifications whenever heavy rain or thunderstorms are approaching the city you’re currently in.
A joke going around the Internet goes: “Metro Manila’s instant traffic recipe: just add water.” Even the lightest rains today can instantly cause heavy traffic, so make sure to check the traffic situation on your route by downloading the official MMDA app.
The Philippine weather bureau’s Doppler radars provide accurate and helpful visuals of every type of weather disturbance, especially typhoons. The good news is you can see these Doppler radar images and more by downloading the official Project NOAH app, which has proven to be helpful in helping people stay informed in times of extreme weather situations.
For up-to-date information about traffic situations, flooded streets, and class suspensions during typhoons, it’s best to get timely, accurate news alerts from sites like InterAksyon.com, the online news portal of TV5. And with the InterAksyon.com site now formatted for mobile devices, you’ll be assured that accessing the site won’t be very data-heavy.
Facebook and Twitter
Social media has become an invaluable tool during disasters, especially in rallying support for relief operations and warning people about impending calamities. With Smart’s Free Internet offer now made better with Unli Facebook, you can stay in touch with relatives and share key information that could potentially save a life or two during these tough situations.
Smart Communications launched its free Internet promo last September, initially for prepaid subscribers of Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk N Text and then later included postpaid and broadband subscribers as well. The period of the special offers was also extended from end-November to January 5, 2015.
Under this promotion, active subscribers of Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk N’ Text have free access to 30 MB of mobile Internet per day. To avail themselves of the offer, subscribers only need to text FREE to 9999. Registration is free and must be done on a daily basis to enjoy the promo every day until January 5, 2015.
Aside from preparing for disasters, the Free Internet offer enables subscribers to, among other things, visit their favorite social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, stream music through SPINNR, shop online, send and receive email, and search for information.