TekTrak: Mobile Location App Helps Reunite A Family After The Japanese Earthquake
hen disasters of scale happen, like the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and sent tsunamis rippling across the globe last month, one of our first reactions is to immediately try to establish contact with those we care about who might have been affected. By phone or by email, by whatever means possible, we scramble to get in touch. Of course, natural disasters often wreak havoc on our lines of communication and, with many people simultaneously attempting to reach loved ones, cellular networks quickly become overloaded. I, personally, will never forget the anxiety of struggling to find and reach relatives in Lower Manhattan immediately following the September 11th attacks. Unfortunately, the disaster in Japan was no different. Phone lines were either down or those that were available quickly became overloaded with calls, and many people had to spend anxious hours waiting to find out if loved ones were alive and safe. Yet, while technology sometimes has the tendency to abandon us in moments of need, it is also a tool that reunites us. We learned today that, TekTrak , a mobile tracking and security app, provided one Japanese family with this very ability following the March 11 quake. The family (who asked to remain anonymous) was unable to locate their daughter in the disorder, who was at school over an hour from where they lived -- or to reach her on the phone.