Nov 05, 2012

Google Public Alerts Offers Emergency Notifications

USGS and Google partner on earthquake, severe weather and other public safety alerts

USGS Google Alerts Emergency Notifications Earthquake Severe Weather

Emergency notifications for earthquakes, severe weather and other public safety matters are now available through Google Public Alerts.

The system provides access to information during crises through the online tools you use every day.

The Google Crisis Response team is partnering with authoritative sources to include public alert data into Google products to make it easy for people to find critical information during emergencies.

Earthquake data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have been incorporated into the system, as well as weather data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service.

"From having been on the front line of several crises, I know personally that the internet can get populated with misinformation that confuses the public and can interfere with response efforts," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.

Users can go to the Google Public Alerts website and search for key terms to find relevant information: What is happening? Where and when will an event strike? How severe will it be?

Users will see public alerts in Google Search and Google Maps based on search queries such as "earthquake Hawaii" or "weather Tampa Florida." In addition to the alert, users will also see relevant response information such as event descriptions, safety tips, maps and links to websites with useful information.

"Integrating USGS earthquake data into Google platforms, in addition to already providing it on our own websites, allows us to reach even more people and hopefully mitigate the effects of earthquakes," said USGS seismologist David Oppenheimer.

Within minutes after an earthquake occurs, the USGS records and publishes information on the origin time, location and magnitude. This information is now distributed simultaneously on Google websites.