Monsoon Special 2013: U of A professor develops dust storm app

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by Kim Quintero

Bio | Email | Follow: @kimquintero

azfamily.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 3:25 PM

Caught in a dust storm and don't know what to do? There's an app for that.

A professor at the University of Arizona recently developed a cellphone app that warns drivers of incoming dust storms based on location.

The technology is linked up with weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also provides safety tips, tells you what you should carry in a dust storm survival kit and has a place where you can store emergency telephone numbers, your insurance policy number and any other key information that you might need if you're ever caught in a dust storm.

The best part? The app is free.

"Apps are big now," said app developer Kirk Astroth, associate dean at the University of Arizona. "Everybody's using apps on their phone, so I thought this will be easy enough to do. We should develop an app to give people tips and tools and alerts to know how to deal with dust storms."

Within the next year, app users will be able to become "storm reporters" by sharing dust storm locations with other users through the cellphone app.

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