Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 6:07 AM(Cross posted from the Google.org Blog)
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.
If a major weather event is headed for your area, you might go online to search for the information you need: What’s happening? Where and when will it strike? How severe will it be? What resources are available 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.
With today’s launch of Public Alerts on Google Maps, relevant weather, public safety, and earthquake alerts from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) will be accessible when you search on Google Maps. For instance, at the time of this post, “Flood Indiana” triggers an alert for a Flood Warning in Northern Indiana.
If you click through to “more info” on this alert, you’ll find a page showing more details about the alert, with the full description from the alert publisher, in this case the National Weather Service, a link to their site and other useful information.
Whether you see an alert depends on which alerts are active at a given location, their severity, and your search query. If you’re interested in seeing all of the active alerts in one place, visit our homepage at www.google.org/publicalerts. This page also provides a link to more information on our new platform and gives instructions to interested organizations who want to make their emergency data available through this tool.
We’re learning as we go and we’re working hard to continuously improve the range and relevance of the content you see, so we’d really like your feedback. Please send feedback our way using the link at the far right of our Google Public Alerts homepage.
We hope Google Public Alerts provides you with information to make better decisions in times of crisis.