Helpline numbers, location sharing apps and services that you may need in an emergency | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:20 AM, October 16, 2020

Helpline numbers, location sharing apps and services that you may need in an emergency

Following the disturbing crimes and sexual harassment cases against women and children, it has become more important to know the emergency helpline numbers and to learn how to share location or notify close ones in an emergency state. Here is a list of some national helpline numbers, apps to share location and a guideline how to activate emergency SOS system. 

National helpline numbers to prevent violence against women and children in Bangladesh

109: An emergency helpline, maintained by the National Helpline Service for Violence against Women and Children. This has been set up to combat violence against women and children and to prevent all sorts of sexual harassment. For any kind of harassment and abuse on the roads or at home, one can seek help here.

999: This national emergency service connects a person with Police, Fire and Ambulance emergency responding teams directly. People can ask for emergency aid, according to their state or need.

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333: A national helpline to seek help to prevent violence against women, to stop child marriages and to save women from other social issues and problems.

All these numbers are toll-free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to activate the Emergency SOS System in Androids and iPhone

Depending on your Android phone, you can find 'Emergency SOS' in Settings directly or you need to go to 'Privacy', 'Security', 'Password and Security', 'Privacy and Emergency', or 'Privacy and Safety' submenu. To activate this system, you have to add at least one emergency number of your friend or relative. You can even add a local helpline number for emergency. After activating the SOS system, you can make emergency calls by pressing the power button three or five times consecutively. The one that is suitable for your mobile phone will be mentioned just on the top of the 'Emergency SOS' option. In addition, you can send an SOS message, pictures and audio recordings of surroundings by activating other default options of this system. For iPhone, 'Emergency SOS' is either in 'Settings' directly or in 'General' submenu. If it's iPhone 7 or older, then press the side button for 5 times. For iPhone 8 or newer, press the side button and one of the volume buttons until it gets activated. Open the Health app of this system to add emergency contacts and some basic medical information of yours such as blood group and any disease that you have.

Common apps that can help share location in an emergency

Facebook Messenger: Open the Messenger conversation of a friend with whom you want to share your location. Tap the four-dot icon on the left side of the text box to open up the Options menu. You'll get the 'Location' button. Click on it and then tap on 'Share Live Location' for 60 minutes. Turn on your device's Location Service and allow your Messenger to access your device's location. And for the iPhone, give Messenger 'Always' location access.

Snapchat: To share location on Snapchat, you need to go to your profile and tap on 'My friends'. Click on the friend's name with whom you want to share your location. Go to their profile and select 'Send My Location'. And your friend will get your location information. Remember to do some edits beforehand to avoid hustles in an emergency state. Go to your Snapchat profile, then to the Settings option, and select 'See My Location'. Turn off the 'Ghost Mode' and select who can see your location. You also need to turn on the location of your device. Note that it only works for bi-directional friends.

Google Maps: Open the app and tap the blue dot that represents your current location. You'll find a 'Share Your Location' button. You can send your location to your friends via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, text message or email. Before sending the link or sharing your location, you can customize the time limit. In general, it's for 1 hour, but through + and – signs you can increase or decrease this time. You can even share your location indefinitely by choosing 'Until you turn this off'. Again, turning on 'Location' or 'Location Service' of a device is a must.

Location-sharing apps Glympse

Glympse is a simple location sharing app. It's very easy to handle. There is no need to log in or create any account to use this app. Just copy the Glympse link of your location and send it via text message, email, or any third-party apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp etc. Recipients can see your location on a map in real-time only if they have any web-enabled device. Note that it may not be useful for you if you don't have a good internet connection.

My GPS Location

This is another location-sharing app which can easily check your current address using a GPS. Just like Glympse, there is no need to create an account and you can send your location via text messages, email or any third-party apps. This app even shows the latitude and longitude of your current location. In an emergency, you can send the link of your location via SMS, even if there is no data connection.

Illustration-Zarif Faiaz


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