Google Maps users will now be able to see relevant ‘Public Alerts’ when using the popular tool, getting warning of weather, public safety and earthquake alerts.
“Today marks the launch of a new Google Crisis Response project: Google Public Alerts, a platform designed to bring you relevant emergency alerts when and where you’re searching for them,” Public alerts engineer Steve Hakusa wrote on the Google blog.
The tool is designed to alert users to things that might be happening in their area – tornado warnings, for example – and provide information about where and when the disaster might occur, as well as how severe the storm is expected to be and where resources can be found to help.
“The Google Crisis Response team works on providing critical emergency information during crises. Our goal is to surface emergency information through the online tools you use everyday, when that information is relevant and useful,” Hakusa said.
Users can search directly on Google maps for specific warnings in their area, or alternatively, can go directly to the Public Alerts Page, where users can find a list of current emergency warnings from around the world. Warnings are displayed as hotspots which users can hover over or click to view more information.
“We’re learning as we go and we’re working hard to continuously improve the range and relevance of the content you see,” Hakusa said of the newly-launched service.
“We hope Google Public Alerts provides you with information to make better decisions in times of crisis.”