New mobile app to help people with disabilities during emergencies

Posted on: Thursday, 17th August, 2017

On 19th August, World Humanitarian Day, CBM launches the new mobile app – Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT), a first of its kind, to help people with disabilities access life-saving relief services during emergencies.

During any emergency or disaster, people with disabilities are some of the worst affected but often find it difficult to access relief services. This custom mobile app, provides practical, step-by-step guidance that emergency workers can access freely and easily to ensure that the help they provide, such as emergency shelters or food and water points,  are accessible to people with disabilities or other marginalised groups.

Watch this short film introducing to the HHOT tool:

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK, said: 

“When disasters strike, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help. With a distinct lack of practical advice on disability in disaster scenarios, and with 1 in 7 individuals living with some form of disability worldwide - 80% of them in developing countries - a large number of people are missing out on life-saving relief services like food, shelter or other support.”

The Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT) aids life-saving relief to people with disabilities in disaster scenariosThe fully accessible app, developed with Cambridge-based digital agency Studio 24, can be downloaded to any mobile device and is then available without internet or mobile connection. It updates automatically on reconnection and input and feedback is invited from users to ensure the tool grows while staying focused, relevant and up-to-date. The content is easy to navigate and is grouped into relevant topics such as logistics, shelter, nutrition, etc.

Both people with disabilities and agencies providing emergency relief have been involved in providing inputs and feedback ensuring that content is relevant. Further work will continue on the tool, including translation to other languages, incorporating mental health support and inclusive disaster risk reduction.

The app is now available to download for free from the Apple app store or Google Play.

Image: 63 year-old Henry lost everything when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines and has fortunately benefitted from CBM’s intervention.

Read more about disability, disasters and how we help.


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