DOE launches app for power outages, other energy emergencies

The Department of Energy launched a mobile app called Lantern Live that helps consumers quickly find and share critical information about nearby gas stations and power outages during energy emergencies. The app builds on the Obama administration’s commitment to improve national energy preparedness in the face of extreme weather and other events that can result in power disruptions.

“The Energy Department is committed to the continued advancement of innovative technologies that will help our communities become more resilient and recover more quickly from emergencies,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Lantern Live has the potential to be a convenient tool for people during and after severe weather events.”

Lantern Live allows users to report the operational status of local gas stations, find fuel, and look up power outage maps from local utilities, while also accessing useful tips and guidelines. With the launch of this app, the DOE is testing the power of crowdsourcing and open data in disaster and recovery.

Future releases of Lantern Live will likely include the ability to crowdsource information on the status of gas stations via standardized hashtags for social media. Lantern Live’s code will also be open source, allowing technology innovators and entrepreneurs to reuse the code in their own apps, explore new opportunities for other sectors and applications, and further leverage the power of open data.

Built in response to lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy, Lantern Live also builds on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative, which is designed to accelerate the development of open data for power outages. This app also helps lay the groundwork for emerging best practices of mobile app development across the federal government.

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