Ready Virginia: Emergency Preparedness App

Personalized interactive emergency preparedness tool for local threats


As part of a statewide campaign designed to help Virginians better prepare for emergencies and disasters, Vert developed the Ready Virginia mobile app. This award-winning app, made in partnership with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, is an interactive tool that makes it easier than ever to stay informed and be ready for emergencies.

The app feature a completely redesigned app interface, focused on improving usability and bringing the most relevant information directly to the user's dashboard. To accomplish this we used simple gamification mechanics and dynamic meta-data to provide personalized contextual encouragement to users to show their preparedness progress over time. On top of that, new features were added to the app including the interactive Storm Surge Risk map tool, designed to help Virginians evacuate safely in case of a large storm or hurricane.

Available on iOS and Android, the app leverages real-time data and smart geo-targeted severe weather & emergency alerts to notify the public of potential threats in their area. It includes a customizable emergency plan and supplies checklist to help families organize and establish emergency information & supplies. Users can even contact their local emergency management agency using the new integrated local contacts section that is personalized to the user's location. Last but not least, we created the 'I am safe' functionality, which allows users to quickly and easily notify their emergency contacts they are safe in the event of a natural disaster.

Overall, the Ready Virginia mobile app is a swiss-army knife full of information and resources designed to inform and prepare Virginia's citizens for potential local emergencies & disasters.

The Ready Virginia app was the winner of the 2014 Governor's Award for Technology in Virginia, and was recognized nationally by President Obama at the FEMA annual hurricane season review. The app also reached the top 10 charts on the App Store within its first week of release. Additionally, the app brought more praise and awards from outside entities than some of the outreach campaigns. In fact, the app won the 2015 Capital Award of Merit from the Richmond Public Relations Society of America in the smartphone/tablet application category.
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