Google Making it Easier to Access its Emergency Alert Services
November 02, 2012
By Oliver VanDervoort
, Contributing Writer
As Hurricane Sandy’s after effects continue to be felt, it’s interesting to watch how the country pulls together and how some of the top tech companies in the world find a way to pitch in. Google is certainly not a company that is often recognized as one that does a ton of community service, mainly because some of its efforts are behind the scenes.
In the wake of the monster storm, the company is going to be putting itself more front and center by making it easier for Google (News - Alert) search, Maps and smartphone users to get safety alerts during emergencies.
Google already had a series of public service announcements but it is now bundling those services into one nice package that will be much easier to access if you have an Android (News - Alert) device running Jelly Bean.
Google made the announcement that they were revamping their emergency alert services just after Sandy unleashed her fury on the east coast.
"Earlier today we posted about efforts to provide information to those affected by the former hurricane and now superstorm Sandy," Nigel Snoad, product manager for Google Crisis Response, wrote in an Oct. 30 post on the Google Official Blog. "We also want to let you know that Public Alerts are now available on Google Search & Maps in your browser, on Google Maps for Android and also on Google Now for Android devices running Jellybean."
The Public Alerts have been a feature of Google since this January, but the fact that they will pop up automatically in Google Search is a new function.
Snoad added that users will get to see not only the alert, but relevant response information including routes people should take, should they attempt to evacuate, as well as whether or not evacuation is viable at all.
Google Alerts pulls data from sources like the NOAA and the US Geological Survey (USGS). In the future, Google says it will also examine other sources for these alerts.
Edited by Braden Becker