Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Google really wants to keep you safe from danger. And in order to do so, the company is updating its SOS Alerts. Google’s SOS Alerts can already keep you informed of natural disasters in your local area, but they can now direct you away from danger as well.
Google launched SOS Alerts in 2017 in an effort to help people in a crisis. SOS Alerts work across Search and Maps to keep people informed about natural disasters happening in their vicinity. They involve news updates, helpful phone numbers, and more besides.
Google Rolls Out New and Improved SOS Alerts
As explained on The Keyword, Google is now updating its SOS Alerts in a number of different ways. The key element being the addition of visual information, with hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps, and flood warnings.
If you’re in the path of a hurricane, in the days leading up to it hitting, Google will display a crisis notification card. This will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone predicting the storm’s trajectory, as well as other pertinent information.
After an earthquake hits Google will also display a crisis notification card. This will show you the earthquake’s shakemap, which visualizes the epicenter, magnitude, and affected area. You will then know who’s likely to have been affected by the earthquake.
— Google (@Google) July 25, 2017
There are also flood warnings showing the expected severity. While hurricane and earthquake notification cards will display globally, flood warnings are limited to India, where, according to Google, “20 percent of global flood-related fatalities occur”.
Finally, and possibly most helpfully, Google Maps can now direct you away from danger. If Google thinks you’re heading into an area affected by crisis activity, you’ll be alerted, and Google will then do its best to “route you away from the disrupted area.”
The hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps, and flood warnings will be rolling out in the coming weeks on Android, iOS, desktop, and the mobile web. The navigation alerts will arrive “later this summer” but be limited to Android and iOS.
The Gadgets You’ll Need in a Natural Disaster
Google’s SOS Alerts were already extremely useful, but these updates make them even more so. This is especially true if you’re in an area with a high incidence of natural disasters. If that’s you, here are the gadgets to protect you against natural disasters.
Image Credit: Daniel Lobo/Flickr