Cyclone Yaas: City police urge people to download Plus Code for faster rescue
The city police have urged people to download a Google application named “Plus Code” on their smartphones so they can share their location if they get trapped during the storm and do not have the internet connection to send their coordinates to friends or the government for rescue.
The police said even when the address is known to the trapped person, sharing the GPS location will result in faster rescue than the postal address, which could be difficult to locate during or immediately after a natural calamity.
Senior police officers at Lalbazar said that the following steps had to be followed to activate the Plus Code feature on smartphones:
1. Download Google Maps, click on the app icon, go to the settings and click on the “offline maps” option.
(An offline map can be accessed even when the phone has no active internet connection.)
2. If you are trapped in an unknown location where your Net connection is not active, click on the Google Maps and then click on the direction arrow, which will determine your current location in form of a blue dot on the screen.
3. Touch the blue dot for a few seconds to create a “Dropped Pin” (a red drop like marker)
4. Clicking on the Dropped Pin icon will produce the location’s Plus Code (a combination of alphabets and numbers).
5. If this Plus Code can be texted (even when the phone is offline) to a friend or any agency, your location can be tracked with an accuracy of up to 10 metres, said an officer at Lalbazar.
6. Those who will stay home during the storm should generate the Plus Code of their location for emergency use. They can generate the code by typing the URL https://plus.codes on Google Chrome or an appropriate internet search engine, the police said.
a. Scroll down the page that appears and click on “Find Your Code” box.
b. A plus code will be created and it can be noted down/saved for future use.
c. If there is an emergency, the code can help the police or other agecies involved in rescue reach you faster with the help of the Plus Code-guided location.