MSUToday
Published: June 21, 2016

MSU updates Flint app to provide more news, other information

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129 Tom.Oswald@cabs.msu.edu, Brian Winn Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media office: (517) 353-5497 winnb@msu.edu

A mobile device app, developed at Michigan State University to help people in Flint cope with the ongoing water situation, has been updated to provide users with more news and other pertinent information.

Called “Empower Flint,” the app was developed by a team of researchers at MSU and WKAR, its affiliate PBS station.

Its goal is to provide residents with a step-by-step checklist of the most important action items they should take to protect themselves, their families and even their pets.

Original features included information on obtaining safe water, health and nutrition tips, pet-care advice, community connections and a news feed.

The new app includes, among other things, an expanded news section, with Internet, WKAR, National Public Radio and Mi.gov subsections.

“It also has expanded Medicaid information, updated water-distribution site information, as well as modifications to the nutrition and gardening sections based on updates from MSU Extension,” said Brian Winn, associate professor in the Department of Media and Information who led the development of the app.

The app is available for both Android and Apple iOS smart phones and tablets and can be found on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

WKAR and the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences collaborated with a number of partners, including Central Michigan 2-1-1, MSU Extension, the colleges of Human Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and the residents of Flint.

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