Android App for Managing Natural Calamity Affected Victims
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Android App for Managing Natural Calamity Affected Victims

Prof. Anand Deepak George Donald1 , Tarannum Shabbirkhan Pathan2, & Jaya Jogendra Mendhe3
1,2,3Department of Computer Technology, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering, Research and Technology,
Chandrapur, India


The scope of information technology is leveraged in every aspect of society. Spatial data and related information is a major requirement in disaster management. During rescue operations, availability of real-time information on a portable device would prove useful. The aim of this research was to develop and test a GIS-based mobile application on the Android platform with disaster specific software modules. This mobile application is expected to serve disaster management teams during the rescue operations for better co-ordination and information exchange.The application RescueApp has been developed after careful evaluation of requirements and case scenarios. The application exhibits Emergency/Distress Call, Reporting System, Disaster Alerts and Geo- visualization as its key features. The application allows field data reporting, sending geo-location SMS, viewing and retrieving weather and location information on the mobile device. The application has been tested for usability, time consumption and accuracy in different field and network availability conditions. An attempt, through this research, was also made to realize the utility of the application in limited availability or absence of communication network.

Keywords: Android, disaster management, API, Field data reporting, response,


For a long time disaster management in India has been reactive and relief-centric. In the wake of serious disasters in the past decade, a new approach has been adopted by India to give disaster management its due importance. The emphasis now is not just on relief but also on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Such efforts are expected to help minimize loss to lives and property. Every year world is hit by large scale disasters like earthquake, flood, landslide, tsunami etc. On 23 Dec, 2005, the Disaster Management Act was enacted by the Government of India and led to the formation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) headed by the Prime Minister and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), which are headed by the State Chief Ministers. The aim is to follow an integrated and holistic approach towards disaster management. The project aims to help and understand the requirements of the teams working in disaster management to understand the situations in which they operate, and provide supportive functions realized in an Android application to improve disaster management. Refining the disaster type to flash floods and the disaster management phase to response phase , was a conscious decision and allows us to gather specific requirements. The Android application developed as part of this research, is intended to support rescue workers‟ co-ordination, information exchange and consequently better disaster management. It should provide spatial functionality, effective visualization of spatial data and ability to send / retrieve essential information through the device. This project focuses on exploring the potential of an Android mobile application in the response phase of flash flood disaster in India. It aims to enable well-coordinated information exchange and therefore better disaster management.

Figure 1-1: Information flow


Fig.(a) login page

This is the Login Page of the User, and if the User is a New User, he can click on New User Link and create an account.The Login Page consists of a Login Id and a Login Password. After filling the details, the User can click on the Login Button.

Fig.(b) new registration page

This is the New Registration Page of the Application, where the name of the User , email, and password are taken and then he can become the registered User

Fig.(c) visitor home page

This is the Home Page of Application, where the user can create an account. The user is a Volunteer, where he can Create a Report, View Request, View Location and View Report.

Fig.(d) user home page

This is the User Home Page, where he can Donate, View Report, Call on a Helpline Number and Send Location.

Fig.(e) donation page

In this page Anybody who wants to donate, can donate the items . The details of the Donator like Donation Type, Quantity, Address are taken from this page.


The Android application should possess the below functionality:

Reporting System
Reporting ground reality to central system say control room is an important aspect of disaster management. It can be used while the rescue operations are in progress and majorly once the relief operations begin. For the team officer, it is crucial to report incidents and details that are important for analysts. These details include the incident site, exact location coordinates, images, video recordings, number of people rescued, injured and died. The analyst can make assessment of the disaster impact both regarding life and property. The research work enables reporting of this information through an interface which allows user to fill in data. It is a good practice to have template report forms ready to be used at the time of disaster.

Emergency/ Distress Call
During disaster management, on the spot communication is important. Sometimes an emergency call needs to be made to communicate a request and also the location of the caller is important. The Emergency/distress call feature in this App is in the form of an SOS button. By using SOS button, a call is made to a pre-saved number which can be re-defined. Simultaneously an SMS is sent to the same number. This SMS includes a message asking for help at the users location.

Disaster Alert
At the time of disaster, once the rescue and relief activities have begun, it is important to know current weather and weather alerts. Disaster alerts for the project have been chosen to be weather-related. The Weather tab on the main screen depicts disaster alert functionality. It shows the weather details for users current location.

Geo-visualization System
Geo-visualization in simple terms means to form a mental image of some information and associating it with earth location. This function cannot be depicted on its own and needs some aspect which uses it for displaying information. Hence geo-visualization has been used for displaying current location and weather information. The assessment function also uses geo-visualization techniques to display data.


This is the methodology that was applied for this research project. Figure 2.1 depicts an overview of the methodology and approach used for the research. It consists of four stages: Requirement analysis, Design and Development of the software application, Configuration of deployment environment and finally the Testing and Evaluation stage. Each stage and its sub-parts are explained subsequently

Figure 2-1: Framework for Research Methodology

2.1 Requirement Analysis
This stage involves gathering information and performing an analysis to extract requirements. For this, it was important to understand how the disaster management authorities and organizations work, the scenarios they face during the post-disaster phase and identify the areas of possible improvement. It was required to know the kind of information they need and equipment they have for communication.

2.2 Design and development of software application
A brief overview about each stage is presented here.

2.2.1. Overall system architecture design
The system architecture design is such that it involves two major entities: the mobile application and server application. The mobile application should be able to send and retrieve data from the server.

2.2.2. Server software application design and database integration
The server application needs to be installed and integrated with database. Once the data is received by the server, it should also be used to update the database. The mobile application should have an authentication to connect to the server. The database connectivity should be managed at the server end only.

2.2.3. Mobile (client) application design
The mobile application is the most important component of this research project. We tried to address as many as possible requirements that were retrieved from the disaster management officials by their experience during various rescue operations.

2.3 Configuration of deployment environment
The deployment of the application needs some resources to be configured. Most importantly an Android Smartphone with GPRS (preferred 3G), Android OS version 4.0.1 and later versions, inbuilt GPS, total storage of 14 MB(internal storage 9.85MB and external storage 4MB ). It can consume additional storage as per usage.. The server and database should be up and working 24/7 to accommodate information retrieval from mobile application and vice versa.

4. Design, Implementation and Testing
Android is Google’s mobile operating system and is based on Linux operating system. Android offers its Software Development Kit (SDK) for developing and designing Android apps. For this research project standard Android development tools were used for application development and standard practices suggested in Android development documentation were studied. The integrated development environment (IDE) used in this study is Eclipse (Juno) and the programming language used for software development and customization is Java. For this JRE (Java Run Time Environment) and Java Development Kit (JDK) was installed as well in computer system.


  1. Disaster Preparedness and Response Training, Facilitator Guide, First Edition, Atlanta(GA):CDC, 2014.
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