When natural disasters strike, the areas affected can become chaotic. A new update to Google Maps can help you deal with natural disasters by giving you information about areas affected by the disaster and guiding you to safety.
This Google Maps update can also help you easily communicate with others in the event of a natural disaster to share your location and alert them to conditions in your area.
Google Maps Hurricane, Earthquake, and Flooding Warnings
Hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can be dangerous to travelers, especially when those travelers are unaware of the situation. Even when you’re aware of natural disasters, you may not know where to go to avoid trouble spots and get to safety.
Don’t miss => 10 Disaster Apps That Could Save Your Life [Infographic]
Google Maps is rolling out an update that will automatically warn you if a natural disaster is affecting your area. If your location is affected by a natural disaster, Google Maps will show you crisis cards with “detailed visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods to give you a better understanding of the situation on the ground.”
If your location is affected by a natural disaster, Google Maps will automatically show you an alert and try to navigate you away from the disruptions.
If you’re in an area that may be affected by a hurricane, Google Maps will alert you to the hurricane with a crisis card that shows you the probability that the hurricane will affect your location. You’ll see a timeline of the predicted path of the hurricane and an estimate of when it could arrive in your area so you can begin to plan an evacuation route.
In areas affected by an earthquake, a Google Maps crisis card will show the shakemap, including the epicenter, the magnitude of the quake, and how intensely the quake was felt in surrounding areas. With this information, you can see which areas were most affected by the quake.
Check out => MyShake: Your Phone Becomes an Earthquake Detector
Google Maps will also be alerting people in certain regions of India to areas affected by flooding. According to Google, over 20% of all global deaths related to flooding occur in India. With this update, Google Maps will be able to show forecasts for flooding and the expected severity of the predicted flooding.
Additional Google Maps Features
This Google Maps update brings additional features to help you inform others about information related to natural disasters.
Share Your Location with Others
During a natural disaster, you may want to share your location with others to let them know you’re safe or to help them find you in case of an emergency. You’ll be able to share your location with others directly from the crisis card.
You can share your location with others for a time period as short as 15 minutes to indefinitely, or until you decide to stop sharing your location.
By opening the traffic layer on Google Maps you’ll be able to see road closures in your area and along your planned route. From the Google Maps Android app you will be able to report when roads are closed and re-opened, to help others navigate.
Sharing Crisis Information
In the event of a natural disaster, you may want to share information about the disaster with others. You can send the Google Maps crisis card to others to give them information about the disaster.
They can open Google Maps to see the crisis card and get information about the natural disaster.
Hurricane forecast information and earthquake shakemaps will start rolling out in the coming weeks to the Google Maps app for Android, iPhone, and iPad, as well as to the Google Maps website.
Flooding forecast information will be coming soon, starting in Patna, India, and then expanding to the Ganges and Brahmaputra regions of India. This flooding update for India will be available on the Google Maps app for Android as well as on the Google Maps website.
Have you ever been in a region affected by a natural disaster? Are you interested in this update to Google Maps helping you in case of a natural disaster in your area? Do you think this update will help people stay safe after natural disasters?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!