(Credit: BADAHOS/iStockphoto)

Traveling in a country where you're unfamiliar with the language can be stressful. If you're in that country during an emergency situation, the stress can quickly turn to panic.

J-SOS (iOS, Android) was developed for Jewish and Israeli people, at home or traveling, to access emergency services quickly during a dangerous situation like a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

When the user presses the app's SOS button, they can qualify what type of emergency is happening, whether it's a terrorist attack, violent incident, being lost or trapped, or medical emergency.

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Reports made through the app can include photographs, video, and audio. Users can also warn authorities about suspicious individuals or behavior.

The report is sent to the Chabad emissary, who locates the user via GPS and immediately contacts the necessary personnel to help. (Chabad, according to its official website, is an organization that works to ensure that the spiritual and material needs of all Jews are taken care of.)

Similarly to apps like Noonlight (iOS, Android) or South America's Reach (Android, Amazon, Windows), J-SOS includes a "Walk With Me" button. If a user is walking in an unsafe area, they can press and hold the button. Releasing the button will send for help after three seconds.

The app also crowdsources information about people missing during emergencies or disasters from other users. In addition, the app displays alerts for potential protests, dangerous situations, accidents, and more in a news feed.

Twenty volunteers and three employees man the J-SOS operations room 24/7, receiving all reports. Many of the operators as well as the app's developer, Yogev Deri, are a part of the Chabad Movement.

Deri created the app after three Israeli boys were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in the West Bank in 2014. Deri had served as a member of the Israeli Police's anti-terrorism unit, YAMAM, and an investigator within the Shin Bet (General Security Service).

"The organization was founded in order to save lives and provide immediate, precise, accessible, and free connection 24/7 to any Jew and Israeli, from anywhere in the world," Deri told The Jerusalem Post. "By cooperating with Chabad emissaries and other entities around the world, and through use of the operation room and the application, the world becomes smaller and saving lives becomes accessible, immediate, and practical."

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  1. The J-SOS app was developed for Jewish and Israeli people, at home or traveling, to access emergency services quickly during an emergency situation.
  2. Users can submit information about an emergency, including photos, video, and audio to J-SOS operators who determine the location and notify authorities.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.