What’s your APPtitude? Umergency links college students to vital information
By Amanda Merriman
Young adults everywhere are just starting their first semester at college, away from home. Umergency is an app that aims to ease the transition for students and their families. This app links students to critical resources as well as family and friends in the event of a medical or safety emergency.
Umergency is available on Android or iOS devices. Students can download the app for free. After indicating which college they attend, the app pulls in phone numbers for local services such as campus security, medical and behavioral health. A quick upload of the insurance card will conveniently keep this information accessible for students. Next, you can electronically sign a medical consent form so that providers can communicate with family members if needed. The app allows users to enter emergency contacts like friends and family. It may be worth considering adding a trusted roommate or dorm resident advisor as well. This gives your student the ability to send pre-populated messages along with their location in emergency situations. Messages go out to the selected contacts’ email address and mobile number.
Umergency has great features and is very simple to use. However, there are some important things to keep in mind. In order for emergency notifications to work, contacts must download the app as well. Non-student users can subscribe for $9.99/year or $19.99 for lifetime access. Users can only access the app from their mobile device. In order to maintain privacy, students are in control of who sees their information. Currently, there are more than 1,200 college campuses within the app. If your student’s college info is not on the list, you can request it with a simple online form. The app’s creators are committed to giving back as well. Umergency donates a portion of their proceeds to colleges. These funds support campus safety programs.
Heading off to college is a huge milestone. It is a nerve-wracking opportunity for growth. Umergency helps parents and students feel a little less stressed with the process. This app also serves as an opportunity to have a larger conversation about safety. My oldest child is a junior in high school. With graduation in the near future, I find myself thinking of ways to prepare him. This app will definitely be a part of our toolkit!