Yesterday’s torrential rains in Joburg have claimed six lives so far, and no one wants to be caught in a dangerous situation because of these seasonal events.

Fortunately, many motorists and passengers on the roads were able to assist each other as waters submerged quite a number of vehicles. But when one is on their own, with no way to get help, an emergency alert app could come in handy.

We’ve listed three apps you can download on your smartphone, which you can use to alert loved ones, the authorities and emergency services, if ever you’re in distress.



mySOS offers you access to various emergency services, depending on the situation you’re in.

You can save a list of contacts, such as loved ones or friends, who will receive an alert when you send one.

mySOS also auto-dials the default emergency service provider, based on the nature of the emergency and your pre-defined provider choices.

Alerts transfer information including: your name, mobile number, nature of the emergency, your exact location (GPS coordinates / street names), the option to view alert on mySOS (if the person doesn’t have the app installed on their mobile), and an option to navigate from their current location to your emergency location.

The app also lists medical services nearest to your location, which helps when you’re in an unfamiliar area and are looking for a hospital or clinic etc.

Download mySOS on Google Play or iTunes.

Bull Horns


Bull Horns is aimed specifically at alertING security companies and the police of an emergency/dangerous situation, but you can also add private contacts who’ll receive a distress alert whenever you activate the panic button feature.

Alert recipients do not need to have the app installed on their phones. Instead, Bull Horns will send the alert to the via SMS.

Download Bull Horns on Google Play or iTunes.



MiBlackBox allows you to record audio or video in an emergency situation. The app then records and collects the audio from the media, encrypts it using an off-site secured server and sends an SMS or in app notification (for contacts with the app installed) along with your location to your stored contacts.

You can also upload photos which will be accessible by your contacts who have the app installed on your mobile.

If you don’t have smartphone you can register via USSD by dialing *120*8821#. If you have a smartphone, download the app on Google Play or iTunes.

MiBlackBox can be downloaded for free, but comes with a charge starting from R9.99 per month, to use.

[Image – CC Daniel Lobo]