As the US enters hurricane season, Google has altered its search engine to help inform users of where the nearest extreme weather is, and how best to prepare for it.
It’s 10 years since Hurricane Katrina destroyed parts of the US, with this anniversary significant to the tech giant.
Now, when you search through Google for particular storms or tornadoes, you will be supplied with a map – relative to your location as well as that of the storm – NOAA-provided visualisations and predictions of that storm, as well as “concise instructions” on how to prepare and stay safe.
The latter element will also be predicated by your proximity to the storm, with FEMA and ready.gov behind the advice.
If you search for a storm that’s still days away, you will receive advice on how to create an emergency kit.
If it’s just a few hours away the advice ratchets up, including prompts to charge up your phone in case the power outs.
“Not every storm is as devastating as Katrina was, but they all have the potential to cause damage, disrupt lives, and uproot communities,” explained Pete Giencke on Google’s blog.
“By providing useful, accurate, early-warning information, we want to do our part to help people prepare.
“More information won’t stop natural disasters from occurring, but it can go a long way to keeping people safe and, in some cases, could even save lives.”
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