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MSU-developed app aims to help Flint residents

MSU-developed app aims to help Flint residents
Posted at 7:59 AM, Mar 02, 2016

A new app developed in part by a group of researchers at Michigan State University is aimed to help the residents of Flint during the ongoing water crisis. 

Empower Flint was a product of teamwork by MSU, its affiliate PBS station WKAR and Flint residents.

The goal of the app, according to the university, is to provide residents with a checklist of actions they should take to protect themselves.

Empower Flint points people to nearby water stations and places where they can pick up free filters. 

The app’s features also include push notifications, water safety and nutrition tips. It even has a section on pet safety.

Brian Winn, an associate professor in the Department of Media and Information, says they started working on the app in February. 

"We realized that there was a ton of information out there already on websites, but there wasn't a lot out there in terms of mobile apps," said Winn.

Winn says they hope the app can continue to evolve based on the need of the residents.

"There’s certainly longer term effects this crisis will have...we want the app to continue to persist," said Winn. "We can easily add content over time." 

Empower Flint is free and available on iOS and Android devices.

Other apps for Flint residents include SafeWater Flint by Adventurate, Inc. and Flint Water Rescue developed by Detroit Labs.  Both help residents locate free services.