Application ‘points to safety’

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

INSPIRED by his experiences during typhoon Ondoy, a Cebuano developed a smartphone application that will guide users during disaster and emergency situations.

Named after the Cebuano word for teach, the Tudlo App is meant to guide and inform users of the latest updates on emergency and disaster incidents.

Vince Lorenia, chief executive officer of Tudlo, said he and his team developed the application due to their experiences with disasters, particularly his experiences during typhoon Ondoy back in 2010.


Lorenia said he conceptualized the application while working in Manila and was one of those affected by Ondoy, which brought massive floods to the capital.

“During Ondoy, I had difficulty looking for alternative routes around Manila and there wasn’t enough information that could have been useful for those affected by the floods,” he said.


Lorenia, who was one of the guest speakers for the #netizensinaction summit in the University of San Carlos Main Campus, said that one of the problems often encountered during disasters is poor levels of information-sharing and data collection, which often results to inappropriate decision and ineffective response.

In the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda last year, more detailed and organized information and data could help spare lives, Lorenia said.

“Yes, we can’t control disaster coming into the country. But we can do something when it comes to preparedness,” Lorenia added.

He said the application not only informs users on media, government and crowd-sharing information on the latest emergency and disaster incidents, it also guides them to possible areas where they could be safe.

It also provides guides for different kinds of emergencies, such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes, fires, accidents, terrorism, heat and pandemics.

It also provides map location of possible evacuations centers, hospitals and clinics in areas where disasters and emergency incidents would occur.


The application also provides contact numbers and links to concerned agencies in cases of emergencies.

But what makes Tudlo unique is it turns your smartphone into a tool for emergencies, such as a flashlight, a strobe light, a siren and a compass.

Lorenia said the application can still be used even if the mobile network goes down during disasters as it will store information from the last four hours before the signal goes down.

The application also has its desktop version, Lorenia added.

The application has been recognized in national and international competitions. It was awarded as the best disaster and emergency application during the Smart Devnet Hackathon back in 2012 and has been a finalist during the IdeaSpace and IBM Smartcamp App development competitions last year.

The application has been localized in Albay as its official disaster and emergency application.

Lorenia said they are talking with the Cebu Provincial Government in coming up with a localized application of their own.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2014.

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