5 things everyone should know about being in an emergency

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An emergency is any situation that poses an immediate threat to a person’s health, security, property, or environment. Knowing how to assess the signs that make up an emergency will help you know how to handle it.

 

Namola, the free emergency safety app supported by Dialdirect, encourages South Africans to be proactive in their safety by downloading and testing Namola. Dialdirect also offers the following advice, should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

 

Namola is on your smartphone. This may sound obvious, but in an emergency, panic can take over. Regularly test your Namola app and put it on your home screen so it is easily accessible in an emergency.

 

Panic may set in. Remain calm. Although emergencies require rapid action, the most important factor in effectively handling the situation is to keep calm. If you find yourself becoming confused or anxious, stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breath. Reassure yourself that you can handle the situation.

 

You may need additional help. No matter your emergency, use your Namola app for emergency assistance. After you request assistance through Namola, one of Namola’s dedicated Operators will call and confirm your emergency and coordinate the right help for you. Remember you need to answer your phone or communicate with the Response Operator through Namola’s in-app chat feature.

 

There could be an immediate threat. If one person appears injured, are you or anyone else in danger of also being injured? If you find yourself in an emergency of this nature, keep yourself safe. Run to a safe location, or find shelter in a safe place and then request assistance through Namola.

 

You may need to comfort victims. If you have assessed that there is no immediate threat to your safety and you can safely assist someone else in leaving a dangerous situation, do so. If the situation is risky, rather wait for a trained responder. You could still assist by offering verbal reassurance to an injured person if they are conscious, even if you can’t move them. Let that person know who you are and what is happening to them. Ask them questions to keep them conscious. If the situation is stable, stay with the victim.

 

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5 ways to get the most out of your Namola App

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Namola, supported by Dialdirect Insurance, is a FREE emergency safety app. South Africans now have a simple and easy way to get help fast. Read these 5 steps to ensuring that you are getting the most out of your Namola app.

 

One: Hold down the request assistance button. You may just be tapping the “request assistance” button to get emergency assistance, but remember you need to hold it down for 3 seconds until the button is completely red.

 

[WATCH] this video to remind you how

 

Two: Turn your location settings on. In an emergency, every second counts. Namola encourages their users to keep their location settings on permanently, to ensure that you do not waste time in an emergency.

 

[READ] 6 common myths about your location settings in Namola

 

Three: Test Namola. Just as you would test your home alarm system to check that it works, Namola encourages you to test your app frequently. Not only will this empower you to know how Namola works in an emergency, but it will also give you peace of mind that someone will call you when you need help the most.

 

[READ] why you should test Namola

 

Four: Put the Namola app on your home screen. In an emergency, there is no time to waste. Not only do we at Namola encourage you to test Namola, but we also encourage you to place it on the Home screen of your smartphone so that it is top of mind and easy to access.

 

[READ] nightmare home invasion, has happy ending

 

Five: Add your emergency information. Any extra information that can be accessed by your dedicated Namola Operator, will save time and maybe even your life. Your data is protected by POPI and can only be accessed by the Namola operator when you request assistance through Namola.

 

[READ] how easy it is to fill in your emergency information

 

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Own a business? You need Namola. Here’s why.

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Business robberies and intimidation of shop owners, especially of small spaza shops, has been big news lately. Just two nights ago we heard of a Bangladeshi shop owner who was seriously injured when robbers invaded his store and then set it on fire, with him inside. So when a threatening call came through to Happy Hyper* a couple of weeks ago, one of the employees recommended that the owner download Namola.

 

“We received a threatening call”

 

“We received a threatening call a couple of weeks ago, and it was very difficult to know what to do and who to call,” says Yusuf* owner of Happy Hyper. “So when my employee showed me how the Namola App worked, I told all of my staff to download and test it, and I downloaded it onto the phone that we use for customers to call.”

 

It was not two weeks later when one of Happy Hyper’s employees answered the shop phone to a threatening message. Having been prepped by the owner on what to do in this type of emergency, the employee instructed his colleagues to close the shop, while he opened the Namola App and requested assistance. Due to the fact that Yusuf had cleverly added his details as one of the shop phone’s 5 emergency contacts he also got a notification that the store was in danger.

 

Responders arrived ten minutes later

 

Ten minutes later, first responders arrived on scene, followed by ADT, whom the owner of the shop had alerted. Five minutes after their arrival, SAPS were on scene.

 

“I couldn’t believe how fast everyone was on scene,” says Yusuf. “Your App is really great for situations like these. Even though no one was arrested, the information and help that I received made me feel completely safe.”

 

Hostages get help fast

 

Four months ago, Namola reported on a story in which a shop owner saved her customers and staff members with Namola. She was working in the storeroom when perpetrators stormed her shop and held up her employees and customers. She used the Namola Chat Feature to communicate in silence with the Namola Operator, so that she could stay out of sight and sound. Read her incredible story now

If you own a shop, be safe and download Namola. Potential perpetrators, think twice before you decide to rob or intimidate shop owners — Namola has their back.

Download Namola FREE

*Names have been changed for User’s protection

Guy Fawkes Safety

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Remember, remember the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes Night — it’s the night bonfires are lit and fireworks set off. Even though fireworks are beautiful and exciting to watch, they can also be potentially dangerous, which could cause damage to your property or harm your family and pets. Although not widely celebrated in South Africa, Namola — the free safety app supported by Dialdirect Insurance — has the following advice for keeping safe this Guy Fawkes Night:

Make sure that the fireworks are legitimate. You should only buy fireworks from authorised dealers and shops displaying the relevant permits from the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Know the law. The use of fireworks in South Africa is regulated by bylaws under the Explosives Act, 1956. It states that: Fireworks may not be set off in any public place, for example, in parks, on the pavement or the streets. This also includes shopping malls, restaurants, liquor stores and clothing retailers.Designated areas. Check where the designated areas are and stick to them.

Avoid fire. Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of a malfunctioning firework.

Avoid injuries. Be sure to set off the fireworks in an area clear of people. Fireworks should only be lit in a designated area away from homes and other buildings, trees and cars. Never light fireworks on the grass, but always on a smooth, flat surface such as concrete or the pavement.

Keep your children safe. Never allow children to touch, handle or light fireworks. Red Cross hospital sees an influx of unnecessary burn victims from Guy Fawkes Night. Make sure you know where your children are when dealing with fireworks. Never let under 16’s handle fireworks on their own.

Even the little ones can be dangerous. Sparklers can be just as dangerous. Always light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves. Never hold a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hands. Put finished sparklers with the hot end down in a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out.

Pet owners need to take special precaution in keeping their pets safe. Dialdirect offers the following advice for your furry friends:

Stay at home. If your pooch is a little skittish, rather stay at home if you suspect fireworks will be used in your neighbourhood. Just having someone at home while the fireworks are going off can have a calming effect on animals who may be frightened from the noise. If your dog is really nervous, a mild sedative or tranquilizer can calm the fears of a distressed animal. Speak to your vet about this.

Close the windows and the curtains. Attempt to mask any noise by closing the windows and drawing the curtains. Put the television or radio on to provide some noise distraction

Comfort them. Put familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, or their bed or basket.

Tire them out. Tire your dog out before the fireworks start by playing outside or going for a long walk. This will help get the animal into a calm state.

Keep your dogs inside. Keep your dogs inside on Guy Fawkes Night. If you have to be outside with your dog, keep him/her on a leash or in a carrier at all times. Dogs may try to sniff, eat or fetch thrown fireworks or ones that are lighted on the ground. Keep them away from parks, or areas where people may let off fireworks.

Beware of leftover items. If you walk your dog in a public place where fireworks have been set off, watch for leftover sparklers or other sharp objects.

To report a fire or if you have information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks, request assistance through Namola.

Download Namola FREE

Teacher’s quick thinking saves pupil’s life

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When Keneilwe Kgosiemang, a teacher at Johannesburg Girls Preparatory school, downloaded Namola in August, never did she think she would have to use it. Let alone twice in two weeks.

 

“I had used Namola two weeks earlier when I was hijacked outside my house,” says Ms Kgosiemang. “When one of my Grade 7 pupils collapsed on Thursday morning and started convulsing, my first thought was I had to get her medical help fast.”

 

Ms Kgosiemang opened Namola, supported by Dialdirect, and requested assistance.

 

When the Namola Operator received the alert, she gathered as much information as she could about the situation and the child, before coordinating help for the child.

 

“Having two children at home myself, it’s always a difficult when a call comes in involving a hurt child,” says the Namola Operator. “Ms Kgosiemang told me that the pupil was completely unresponsive after the seizure, her eyes were open but she wasn’t moving. I just knew that I had to find her the fastest help possible.”

 

And thanks to Namola’s latest product offering, Namola Watch, that is exactly what the Namola Operator did.

 

Namola Watch allows community crime-fighting organisations to provide help in emergencies. Luckily one of Namola’s Watch Responders, Muhammed, from Vision Tactical was in the area and arrived on scene within 8 minutes.

 

As well as being a security company, Vision Tactical is also supported by ER24 for medical emergencies. When Muhammed heard about the medical emergency, he also jumped on the radio to ensure that ER24 was able to get there quickly. 4 minutes after he arrived, 12 minutes from the time of the call, ER24 pulled up to the scene of the incident and managed to stabilize the child.

 

“What is truly amazing to see here is the communication between various responders to ensure that the Namola user got the help that they needed,” says Peter Matthaei, CEO of Namola. “That is exactly what we envisioned for Namola Watch — a network of responders working together to serve the citizens of South Africa in their time of need.”

 

Namola spoke to Ms Kgosiemang after the incident to see how the child was doing.

 

“She is great,” says Ms Kgosiemang. “I spoke to her mom and she was discharged from the hospital. I think that she was lucky to get the help she did so quickly. Thank you to all involved for turning a very scary situation into a supportive one.”

 

Thank you Ms Kgosiemang for trusting Namola with your emergencies.

 

If you are part of a neighbourhood watch and would like to know more about Namola Watch, visit https://namola.com/watch/

Teach your children to use Namola

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Teach your kids to get the right help in an emergency with these three simple steps:

Open Namola App. Put the app on your home screen or dock so that they can find it easily.

Hold down the Request Assistance button for three seconds. Count with them while they hold down the button. The button needs to be completely red.

Answer the phone. The most important aspect of teaching your child to use Namola is to ensure that they know that they need to answer the phone. Practice with your child and teach them that the Namola Operator is their friend. Our Response Centre Operators will make sure that they ask the correct things to determine what kind of help to send.

Make sure that you #GetHelpFast. Download Namola FREE.

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Tips for teaching kids to use Namola Safety App

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Make sure your child knows where the Namola App is situated on your smartphone. Your child may know how to use Namola, but if they can’t find the app on your phone, that will be the real problem.

Discuss scenarios in which they would request assistance through Namola. These would include, but are not limited to: fires, accidents, or when “mommy and daddy fall down and can’t get up”.

Get your child to talk to the Namola Operator. The last thing you want in an emergency is for a child to freeze and to not be able to tell inform the operator that there is an emergency. Explain to your child that the Namola Operator is a friend. With Namola’s test feature, test getting assistance frequently and let your child answer the phone when the Namola Operator calls.

Make sure your child knows how to answer your smartphone. You may think that all the hard work has been done with your child holding down the request assistance button, but you should also make sure that they know how to answer the phone.

Practice makes perfect. Ask them to show you what they would do in an emergency on a frequent basis. With Namola’s test feature, a user is encouraged to test as many times as they like. This is a great opportunity to teach kids and get them to practice.

Download Namola FREE http://namola.co/teachkids

You may also like: Why Namola is the best tool to teach children how to get help in an emergency

Why Namola is the best tool to teach children how to get help in an emergency.

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Namola ensures that no matter who you are, big or small, that it’s easy to get emergency help. This is why Namola encourages parents to teach their children from a young age how to use Namola. Below are 5 ways that Namola is the best tool for kids to get help easily.

Namola is an app. No need to remember emergency numbers, all you need to do to get help fast in an emergency is hold the Namola button down for 3 seconds.

GPS coordinates. No need to worry about your child not being able to tell someone where they are in an emergency. The moment a Namola user pushes the button to request assistance, the app sends through the user’s GPS location, informing the Namola Operator the exact locationof the emergency.

Emergency information. You can fill in your emergency information details in the Namola Profile Tab. This will ensure that the Namola Operator knows exactly who needs assistance. If your child is too young to own their own smartphone, teach them to use Namola on yours. If something happens to you, using your phone will provide them with your emergency information.

Namola’s test feature. At Namola, we encourage our users to test as often as they like. With this feature, parents can role-play an emergency, teaching the child to get help with Namola and to become comfortable speaking to Namola’s Operators.

Watch our COO, Peter Adolphs, encouraging parents to teach their children to use Namola.

Download Namola FREE http://namola.co/teachkids

How to request assistance on behalf of someone else

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Dialdirect offer the following tips to report assistance with Namola on behalf of someone else:

Location, Location, Location. The most important piece of information you will need when you request assistance on behalf of someone else is their location. If you are using Namola to request assistance, they will be able to know where you are via your GPS location. If you have received a request for help and are not at the scene of the incident, ensure you have an address and/or a landmark that will help emergency responders locate the person in need of assistance.

Attention to detail. You may not want to get involved in the incident itself, but you should try and provide as many details of the incident as possible.

Dialdirect Insurance also offers information on what you will need to provide if you are reporting an incident on behalf of someone else:

Reporting a crime. Try and get a physical description of the person committing the crime. If this is a case of abuse, try and set the scene of the crime. For example, is there a history to the crime, does the perpetrator know the victim.

Reporting a medical emergency. What symptoms the person in the emergency is displaying.

“The more information one is able to provide, the better prepared the person coordinating the help will be to assist,” concludes  Matthaei.

Dialdirect offer the following tips to report assistance with Namola on behalf of someone else:

Location, Location, Location. The most important piece of information you will need when you request assistance on behalf of someone else is their location. If you are using Namola to request assistance, they will be able to know where you are via your GPS location. If you have received a request for help and are not at the scene of the incident, ensure you have an address and/or a landmark that will help emergency responders locate the person in need of assistance.

Attention to detail. You may not want to get involved in the incident itself, but you should try and provide as many details of the incident as possible.

Dialdirect Insurance also offers information on what you will need to provide if you are reporting an incident on behalf of someone else:

Reporting a crime. Try and get a physical description of the person committing the crime. If this is a case of abuse, try and set the scene of the crime. For example, is there a history to the crime, does the perpetrator know the victim.

Reporting a medical emergency. What symptoms the person in the emergency is displaying.

“The more information one is able to provide, the better prepared the person coordinating the help will be to assist,” concludes  Matthaei.

Woman held hostage gets help from concerned friend

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It was late on a Thursday night when Markho* received a WhatsApp from one of his friends, Nancy*. She had been assaulted and was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend. She had tried to get hold of the police, but was struggling to get them to her.

 

 

“Her message was very concerning,” says Markho. ”She said that the police couldn’t find her and that she was struggling to talk to them on the phone. I knew she needed help, fast.”

Markho heard about Namola on Twitter and requested assistance. He gave the Response Operator all Nancy’s details. The Operator called Nancy to see how she could assist.

 

 

“I called Nancy to see how I could be of assistance,” says the Response Centre Operator. “She told me that the police had arrived at her request but they had left because the perpetrator had left the house to go to the shop. They said that she could call them if he returned.”

Namola’s Operator however, was not happy with this situation. She knew that Nancy would still be in danger when her ex-boyfriend came back and was scared for her life. Worried for Nancy’s safety, the Operator didn’t leave it there,  and went beyond the call of duty and phoned the Police Station Commander.

“The statistics for femicide are huge in South Africa,” says the Operator. “I didn’t want Nancy to become another name we read about in the papers. Not on my watch.”

Namola Operators will always go above and beyond to ensure that Namola Users are safe. They are taught to use their instincts, and if something doesn’t feel right, do something about it. In this case, the Namola Operator certainly did.

From the call that the Operator had with the station commander, it seemed that they were both on the same page when it came to Nancy’s safety. The Station Commander agreed with the Namola Operator that Nancy could still be in danger. Neither of them were willing to risk it.  As soon as the cops from Nancy’s incident walked in the door, the Station Commander marched them right back out to the scene. Telling them that they were not to come back unless they had the perpetrator.

An hour later, with her ex in custody, Nancy went to the police station, where she laid a charge of assault and kidnapping against him.

 

 

“Thank you guys,” Markho says. “I really appreciate your effort. She told me someone came to her rescue. Thanks for saving her life, Namola.”

Would you want a Markho in your community? The type of person who doesn’t look the other way, but instead chooses to help? The type of person who can get you help if you can’t help yourself? We can all be the Markhos of our communities. Thanks to Dialdirect, with Namola it is so easy to request help, FREE, that there is no excuse to look away. Together we need to make South Africa a safer place to live.

Download Namola FREE

*Names have been changed to protect identities