Google has just added a brand new feature to their maps called ‘Public Alerts’. As part of their Crisis Response Project, Google Public Alerts is a platform designed to bring you emergency alerts in or around your surrounding area. You can test this out by heading over to this link right here. The service is currently online and if you head over to the link, you’ll see a bunch of warnings, mostly in North America, like a flood warning in Arkansas. It also tells you how long the alert has been active for and for how long it will likely to continue. Other than Weather alerts, they also added earthquake alerts as well. All this information is updated on a timely basis through information sent from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Stay safe while on the road
This service is currently available only in US but it’s only a matter of time till it’s available in other countries as well. This feature isn’t available on Google Maps app on your mobile phone just yet. Also, if you are using the standard Google Maps on a PC, you’ll only see alerts that are really severe and not minor ones. For the full list, you’ll still have to go to the dedicated alert site. Since this project has just taken off, the weather alerts are come from the National Weather Service, so there’s still time till you get to see local weather reports from your city or state. Google is also considering integrating this feature in their other services like web search in the future. This is a great initiative from Google as it gives you real time alerts of impending calamities. This feature will actually be most useful on mobile phones. Imagine if you’re using Google Maps to get to your destination, if there’s a prediction of an earthquake or bad weather in the route that you’ve chosen, you will be alerted and then choose a different, safer route thereby avoiding any danger.