Google today announced that it is bringing SOS Alerts in Google Search and Maps to help one quickly get up to speed and decide what to do during a crisis.
Google will automatically display an SOS Alert at the top of search results when one searches for any crisis or location. The search results will then display useful local information like phone numbers, emergency helplines, websites, and other relevant data. If you are close to an area where a crisis has occurred, you will also automatically receive a notification from Google.
In Google Maps, an SOS Alert with an icon pointing the location on the map will be displayed. Tapping on the SOS card will display more information about the crisis and show other relevant information like emergency and helpline numbers. Maps will also provide users with real-time updates on road closures and traffic updates.
Google says that it has worked closely with government agencies and organisations like the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and others.
Google’s SOS Alerts will not start showing up for every crisis occurring across the world, but the company does plan on making it available “more broadly over time.”
As Google rightfully says in its announcement, it is not a feature the company hopes you ever have to use but if you do, it hopes to do its job well of keeping you and your loved ones safe and informed.