Over the past couple decades, Google has become known for a lot of things, and while it’s second-nature for a lot of people to simply “Google it” there are some things Google offers that not many people are aware of. Google Public Alerts has been around for a long time now, and essentially lets people know of natural disasters and other pertinent information during times of crisis. Google Public Alerts is part of Google.org, the charitable part of Google, and it’s been used in the past during Hurricane Sandy and more recently El Ni±o. Now, Google Public Alerts is rolling out flood alerts in India.
The new feature further expands Google’s already-extensive Crisis Response tools and uses data provided by India’s Central Water Commission (CWC). This means that flood alerts will – at launch – only be available in the 170 different areas that the CWC observes. Obviously, it would be nice if this figure were higher, but the fact that the CWC is sharing this data with Google is notable in and of itself. From now on, users will be able to get flood updates via the Public Alerts page, or simply by searching “flood” in Google. Those that are keen users of Google Now will also see if there’s a flood warning in effect near their location, too.
This new launch will make Google a little more useful in India, and shows that the Internet giant is keen to make it easier than ever for the majority of users, no matter where they might be. In India specifically, it looks as Google is having a good week with this news, while Facebook has seen their “Free Basics” campaign seemingly shot down in what’s being hailed as a big win for Net Neutrality across the nation. Google Public Alerts continues to get better, and leveraging information from the CWC is just one example of how multiple government agencies across the globe can work together to create a better picture of what’s going on near them no matter where in the world they are. Users can see a preview of what a flood alert might look like below.