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Google aims to help you track dangerous storms more easily this hurricane season
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ten years ago, Google began ramping up its efforts to display satellite imagery of affected areas in Google Earth and even helped build searchable databases to help people keep in touch with their loved ones. And this hurricane season, Google is making it much easier to track dangerous storms through Search results. The company today announced that it’s bringing some improvements to weather forecasts and Public Alerts in Google Search. With these new improvements, searching for a particular storm or tornado might bring up the following:
- A map showing your location in relation to the oncoming storm
- Visualizations of its forecasted track, wind severity and arrival time, courtesy of NOAA
- Concise instructions for preparing and staying safe, customized for the estimated intensity of the storm and its arrival time relative to your location, from FEMA and ready.gov
Google says the safety recommendations you receive will be tailored to reflect the current status of the storm, as well as your context. For instance, searching for a specific storm that’s a few days away will bring up a map of the storm developing and a recommendation to start preparing for an emergency. Searching for a storm that’s only hours away from your location will bring up a reminder to start charging your phone or tips on how to avoid injury from fast moving water or flying debris.
These new improvements to storm tracking in Google Search are rolling out in the United States starting today.