The unit Mediterranean Ecosystems and Risks (EMAX) of the National Institute for Science Research and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA) will start testing the free smartphone app SIGNALERT, developed by the homonym start-up, that allows citizens to report about natural disasters.
The first trials will take place in the South of France to monitor forest fires from July to October. This app will help to enhance early warning, monitoring and management systems for wildfires. A real-time analysis of warning received through the app could allow detecting fires before any other system. SIGNALERT app can be freely downloaded in English and French from AppleStore and Google Play and used by any citizen to report all types of natural events, such as floods and avalanches.
The start-up SIGNALERT will work together with IRSTEA to develop a questionnaire describing the natural events. Users that want to report about concrete phenomenon have to fill this questionnaire establishing parameters for a more precise picture of the event. In case of fires, the questionnaire will focus among others on the size of the flames, the affected area, the colour of the smoke and the wind intensity.
The app provides as well useful information about how to behave in case of unexpected natural events and how to face natural disasters.