Storm Shelter App Helps Locate Victims Trapped Under Rubble

Former IBM field tech and firefighter Shonn Neidel and brother-in-law Dan McIntyre have developed an app that will help firefighters pinpoint people trapped in storm shelters under the rubble after natural disasters and other catastrophic events.

The idea for the app was spurred by Neidel’s experience during the deadly 2013 Moore (OK) tornado, where firefighters found the existing storm shelter registry less than helpful, according to a story from KOSU ( After the storms, the landscape resembled a massive landfill, making it difficult for firefighters to figure out where to start digging for survivors.

The new app looks like the map you find on your phone, with red pins indicating the storm shelter locations. Because GPS is not always accurate, the app also includes actual coordinates, collected, verified, and manually pinned by an inspector. The app also locates other physical objects in the vicinity of the shelters.



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