Two years after its original introduction, Google is updating its SOS Alerts with more real-time information about areas affected by natural disasters and new navigation warnings on Google Maps to help it navigate the danger. The changes will also show you more detailed visual information about earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, with a visual overlay to show the affected areas.
For hurricanes, Google will try to forecast your route and display a crisis notification card in Google Maps if you are near an affected area. Flood forecasts will show an overlay on a map of the affected areas, along with information on severity. Finally, the earthquakes will also receive a crisis card, which will show its epicenter, magnitude and affected areas.
Google SOS Alerts are a way to provide essential information quickly in the event of a natural disaster. If you search for a relevant term, Google will present a summary of relevant news, emergency phone numbers, security tips and Twitter updates. In the most serious cases, Google will send an insertion alert to the users of the affected area.
The new SOS Visual Alerts will be released to users in the coming weeks, but compatible platforms and regions vary between different natural disasters.
Google Maps navigation warnings and earthquake indicators will be available worldwide. Earthquakes will be visible on Android, iOS, desktop and mobile web, while navigation warnings will be available only on iOS and Android. Meanwhile, the flood visualizations will be compatible with Android, desktop and mobile web, but will only be available in India, where the risk of drowning in a flood is particularly high. Finally, visual hurricane forecasts will be available on all platforms in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea.