Google’s newest feature is huge for disaster situations

Google is pushing out new a safety feature called SOS Alerts for Google Maps and search results for better information dissemination during disasters.

The new feature is similar to one Facebook introduced back in 2014 called Safety Check. Facebook’s was geared more toward letting people know they were safe, while Google’s is more about keeping people informed.

Searching for a disaster will conjure up results that displays a card with official government updates about the disaster. The cards feature a red color heading and display important information like updates, affected areas, and phone numbers of note. Google is working closely with Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to provide the most reliable information.

Google users can also search for disaster information right through Google Maps. Searches will show red SOS badges where there are current disasters going on like wildfires or floods.

Google is rolling out the feature now to Google Maps and via search results.

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