I have a serious question for you. Can you imagine what it must be like to celebrate your wedding under the stars with champagne bubbles and a tender promising kiss...only to end the same week living beneath a tarp crafted together from knotted plastic bags? Sounds like the makings of a nightmare, right? Unfortunately, this is the reality for one young couple after the earthquake in Mexico left them grappling with homelessness in their new life together.

The last month spurred a lot of soul searching for so many...myself included. Massive earthquakes, hurricanes, and storms took lives and demolished homes. 

Through it all, stories emerged of people tapping into the power of social media to save lives. In fact, after Hurricane Harvey, an image shared via Twitter prompted the rescue of elderly residents in Houston that were waist-deep in water. After the Sept. 19th earthquake in Mexico, it was because of WhatsApp that a woman and her colleagues were finally rescued from beneath the rubble.

Not all the stories are heroic or happy, but devices and apps certainly helped many find aid. I'm very aware there's still much to be done to create social media systems that allow for rescue teams to be directly linked with victims. However, the lesson is clear; it's crucial that you start planning and creating your own rescue systems.

Here's five lifesaving apps that can be used to provide access to help when phone lines fail and a human cry for help goes unheard. Please download them and create lifelines with your friends and family.

1) WhatsApp - Best for international communication and travel. Connects you to talk and text through Wi-Fi. 

2) Medical ID - Essential for everyone! Seriously take 2 minutes today to include your emergency contact and medications/allergies. 

3) Twitter - One of the best aggregators for trending topics especially around disasters. 

4) Zello - Provides access to connect in low-bandwidth areas. This was one of the most downloaded apps in the Caribbean, Florida and Houston. 

5) Facebook/Facebook Messenger - With the vast number of people on this platform, Facebook is still one of the top resources to access the majority of your community in times of emergency. 

Please download the apps recommended above. 

Sending you hopes of health & happiness.



Chief Storyteller, Pink Graffiti

Cole Hernandez