Push-to-talk apps for disaster communications: Hurricane season brings technology adaptation

Alexander H. Chang, Rabia Bega, Edbert Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective communication during disasters is essential for emergency management, responders, and impacted populations. Recent hurricanes have drawn attention to the potential utility of push-to-talk (PTT) applications with some such as Zello, garnering over 6 million downloads during the week prior to Hurricane Irma. PTT technology integrates a two-way radio system to transmit and receive messages via point-to-point communication lines. With rapid implementation of newer technology and applications often driven by anecdotal reports and the media, the actual performance impact of such technology in the face of disasters is challenging to assess. This article attempts to characterize advantages and limitations of PTT in the context of hurricanes through primary news article sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of disaster medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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