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HelpBridge: the Microsoft app that lets people know you’re okay in a disaster

Microsoft has unveiled a new app called HelpBridge, which it claims will help people connect with those that matter most to them during a natural disaster.

The app, which is available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS is based on Windows Azure and has two basic settings. The first allows you to let your friends and loved ones know you’re okay during a natural disaster via an SMS, email or a message to your Facebook wall. The second meanwhile uses the same avenues to let people know you need help.

HelpBridge reportedly enables you to build a list of people who you would want to contact in an emergency. “With one swipe you can let all those people know if you’re OK or if you need help via SMS, email and/or Facebook,” says Microsoft. The alert can also optionally provide your exact location via your phone’s GPS capabilities.

Microsoft has also built facilities in the app that provide people with ways to help out in the aftermath of natural disasters by volunteering and donating goods and money.

“When disasters occur, the first thing people who were impacted want to do is to reach friends and family,” said James Rooney, program manager for Microsoft Citizenship’s Technology for Good program, in a statement.