Google has just announced that it is improving SOS alerts, essentially. The company is adding visual information about natural disasters, and a new navigation warning system on Google Maps.
This will provide you much more information regarding any type of natural disasters. It will show you where a natural disaster is a the moment, and also anticipate where it is headed, so that you can better prepare for it.
SOS alerts already provide you with important crisis information on hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps, and flood forecasts. You can get a summary of what's happening, relevant news stories, emergency phones numbers and websites, Twitter updates from local authorities, and even tips to help you find a way out of all that, and get to safety.
With this new change, you will also be able to get detailed visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. Days before the hurricane arrives, you will see a crisis notification card on Google Maps, that card will automatically appear if you're near the area that will get affected by it. You will be able to see the storm's trajectory, along with some additional information regarding it.
Regarding earthquakes, this new feature will also be of us. After an earthquake strikes, you will be able to tap on the crisis card and see the earthquake's shakemap. This will essentially show you its epicenter, its magnitude, along with color coding that will let you know how intense shaking was in a surrounding area.
For those of you who live in India, this new feature will also be of us. In India, over 20-percent of global flood-related fatalities occur, and thanks to this new feature, you will be able to see flood forecasts that show you where flooding is likely to occur. That information will also predict the severity of the flooding, so that you can plan ahead.
Now, if you're outside of an impacted area, these new changes can also be of use. You can simply search Google for relevant terms, like the name of a disaster or its location, and you'll be able to access an SOS Alert that will provide you the same overview, in addition to some extra features. You will be able to donate to help the victims of various natural disasters, if such opportunities are available at the time.
Crisis navigation warnings on Google Maps will show you a prominent alert if your route is expected to be affected by a natural disaster, if you're traveling somewhere or something of the sort.
The company announced that earthquake shakemaps and navigation warnings will be available globally. Earthquake shakemaps will be available on Android, iOS, Desktop, and mobile web, while navigation warning will roll out to only Android and iOS.
Hurricane cones-related features will hit the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea on Android, iOS, Desktop, and mobile web.
And last, but not least, flood forecasts are becoming available for users in India, on Android, Desktop, and mobile web.