NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One of the lessons from the Boston Marathon bombings is the kind of role technology plays in connecting everyone and how much information and misinformation there is out there after an event like that.

Sree Sreenivasan, tech expert from our partner network CNET and Columbia University’s chief digital officer, stopped by with some tech tips and ideas that will be useful to us in case we are ever again in a similar situation.

We hope none of us is ever in a horrific situation like Boston, but we in New York City know all too well that absolutely terrible things can happen at any time.

The first tool is the Google Person Finder (, an incredibly useful site that has helped people find each other after a crisis. Along with Boston, it was used after the earthquake in Japan in 2011.

Then there is Safe and Well ( It’s a site similar to Google person finder, but run by the American Red Cross.

There is also an app called In Case of Emergency ($0.99 for iPhone, $3.99 for Android). It’s a way for you convey critical information even if you are incapcitated, stuff like medical information, emergency contact, etc.

Finally, there is an app named MDRA, or mobile disaster relief app (free, iPhone with Android coming). This app is aimed at first responders and aid coordinators to share what they know and to help the victims of disasters of various kinds. The app describes its origins this way: “Sirqul built this app in conjunction with non-profits such as, Waves for Water, and celebrity and community outreach from Kevin Powell and others in the north east affected by hurricane Sandy.”



Sree Sreenivasan is CBS2′s technology expert, appearing every Wednesday morning at 6:50 am to discuss ways to save you time, money and aggravation. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook  and on his personal siteE-mail your questions with “CBS New York” as the subject line.

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