The hurricane season is now approaching its peak in the United States, and Google, in their continuous quest to upgrade their search engine, has publicly stated that they will be broadening the weather related systems that are visually available via their search engine.
The new update will feature maps of your very own location, presumably determined by GPS or IP address location, with imagery showing the storms in your area, according to TechCrunch. In the event of severe weather within close proximity, users will see instructions telling them how to remain safe during that time. The safety tips originate from FEMA and are specific to the upcoming weather event.
Google will also display weather data direct from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, showing the forecast severity of any incoming storms along with their arrival times.
If a weather event is expected to strike over the next few days, users will receive different safety precautions and advice than when severe weather is expected within the next hour. Google released information describing how these warnings may vary depending on the situation.
If the storm is still several days away, you might be shown recommendations about how to prepare an emergency kit. However, if the storm is just a few hours away, the recommendations may instead suggest that you start charging your phone in anticipation of a power outage. And if the storm is really close by, the information will be of a more urgent nature – like telling you how to avoid injury from fast-moving water or flying debris.
Google has been working on these personalized weather reports for almost ten years. The project is inspired by Hurricane Katrina, reports IBN Live, where over 1,800 people died along the Gulf Coast.
“Not every storm is as devastating as Katrina was, but they all have the potential to cause damage, disrupt lives, and uproot communities,” wrote GIS Data Engineer Pete Giencke on Google’s Blog. “By providing useful, accurate, early-warning information, we want to do our part to help people prepare.”