Google are always making improvements to their maps service, which is quite easily one of their most popular features to date, having been responsible for a number of spin-off features. Now after adding 3D maps, traffic reports and indoor street view, Google have now revealed a new crisis response service called 'Google Public Alerts'.
Announcing it on their LatLong blog, the service will alert users to any unforeseen events that is happening in their area such as tornadoes, floods, thunderstorms and blizzards. When you access the service, you have access to information concerning weather reports, earthquake alerts and public safety announcements, all taken from the National Weather Service, The US Geological Survey (USGS) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Through checking the site, you will be notified of any potential warnings that may be close to you. Clicking on a particular warning will give you further details such as the exact weather report, the severity of the report, traffic diversions and advice about what actions to take if you're in the area. There's also the option to search particular area to see if there are any perilous conditions to take into consideration, so if you're heading on a long journey, you can discover if there are any diversions or precautions you must take before you set off.
All weather alerts and details can be found on the Public Alerts page
. So far, only the U.S. has access to the feature, but the company is planning on introducing international content as well making the feature available on other Google products sometime in the near future. While it's in the early stages, the service could be expanded to include different emergency alerts but how specific they'll go (will they cover major crashes, burning buildings etc?) has yet to be seen.