Google this week introduced a new set of features to better alert and inform users about major storms. The company announced the changes in a blog post published yesterday, as the US enters hurricane season and marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
With the new features, users searching for information on hurricanes or tornados will find maps showing their location and the storm, detailed forecasts and visualizations based on NOAA data, and safety tips catered to their situation. If a storm is still far from their location, they may see information on how to prepare an emergency kit; if landfall is imminent, they might see tips on how to protect themselves or reminders to charge their phones in case of a power outage.
The features are the latest efforts from Google to improve its weather forecasts and public alerts. The company's person finder tool has been deployed following several natural disasters in recent years, as well as crisis maps to track and gauge storms.