As the United States enters into hurricane season, Google has given us improvements in weather forecasts and public alerts in Google Search to track storms during this year’s hurricane season. Just 10 years ago Hurricane Katrina came and went leaving New Orleans in a state of National Emergency.
When you now search the web for information about specific storms or tornadoes, according to Google, you may see:
- 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 searches are becoming more relevant and tailored to each individual and their location. When you search a specific weather pattern, Google will tailor the results to the event and your context.
For example, if you search for a specific storm when it’s still several days away, you may see a map of the developing weather event and a recommendation to start preparing an emergency kit. If the storm is only hours away from your location, you might receive a reminder to start charging your phone in case power goes out. And if you search when the storm is nearby, you’ll get the most urgent information, like how to avoid injury from fast-moving water or flying debris.
Kudos to Google for helping us in areas where they don’t need to. Something of this nature is usually left to the government, but Google is helping to step-in so another Katrina like event doesn’t affect the health and lives of so many people.