Q: Please introduce the main features/characteristics of your application.
Anyone can use PPS to register the precise location of assets such a fixed safety shelter or
their immediate location when in danger. Emergency response systems can now use PPS to notify the public about critical emergency events that are in close proximity, like a tornado or active shooter! Most importantly, PPS provides the public the ability to check in/out for accurate roll call and focused recovery efforts. Citizens will be able to notify first responders about their “needs” (“We need water”) and “haves” (“We have a generator”) during check in/out.
Q: What was the motive behind the development of this application?
PPS was inspired by two Terravolv managing partners — Jacob Birmingham and Radhaji
Mani — after witnessing massive devastation left behind by tornadoes in places like
Tuscaloosa, Harvest, and other places close to home. They realized their own needs could help save lives, if emergency responders had access to the precise locations of citizens and assets, during any emergency event. PP-Shelter (PPS), was originally created to rescue people after a natural disaster and help catalog the location of assets. Today, PP-Safety (PPS) is a rich web/mobile application both powerful and easy to use mobile alert platform built to better protect the public’s safety.
Q: Why did your team compete in the Disaster Apps Challenge?
Our team are active members in a local entrepreneur and tech startup organization called
HOTcoffee. The organization is lead by a University of Alabama professor Dr. Whitman and he was the individual who originally learned of our app and guided our attention to the Disaster App Challenge.
Q: Could you tell us about any of you (or your company’s) achievements that you want to share with the STAR-TIDES community?
We are just a small 3 man operation who love building innovative applications inspired by
our family, friends and local community needs. Another popular app that we created for
the benefit of promoting young children’s finance and a budget education is called KiDebit. Currently on the app store and soon to be available on Android.
Q: What are your long-term plans for the application and where do you see it going in the future?
PPS mission aligns with GEO Huntsville’s Blueprint for Safety and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy has given us a new direction and motivation to really promote this app to the local and national community. So our next step is to fully deploy the app on both Android and iOS markets in order to get this into the hands of the citizens before the next big storm. One local first responder told us integration into the Emergency Agency county and federal systems will be hard and take time. “trust me, I’ve tried other integration efforts before….” He gave us the idea to first make the app usable by the local community. The “real first responders and your neighbors”. So we did just that! Our next version of the app continues to share the disaster app challenge mission, and PPS seeks to enhance first responders’ ability to protect citizens during any crisis, whether it is an approaching storm or an active shooter on premise but our focus will immediately be all about how does it help citizens helping citizens. So we are transforming a few key features like the CheckIN to a shelter into simply a “check IN” for a safety roll call, so neighbors, family and friends can just have some basic awareness of who needs help and who is okay around them immediately after a storm. Of course we have a few other cool and innovative features that we are adding but are not ready to disclose them publically just yet! Stay tuned though and visit our website at terravolv.com to learn more.
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