As past events throughout time have proven, the world can sometimes be a dark and dangerous place. Having access to the right information during a crisis can prove to be lifesaving depending on the situation at hand, and the release of SOS Alerts on the Google Search and Maps on iOS aims to make dealing with these future events easier and much more manageable.
Starting with SOS Alerts on the Google app, searching for an ongoing crisis that’s happening in your location will now display an SOS Alert card with heaps of relevant information. This includes the likes of the top stories related to the crisis, maps showing the affected areas, official government updates, and emergency numbers to call.
If you aren’t currently in the affected area of the crisis but still want to stay updated on what’s happening, you’ll be able to get a different SOS Alert that showcases a chronological overview of everything that’s happening in addition to quick links to donate to charities and relief programs.
As for SOS Alerts on Google Maps, you will now be able to see a new SOS Alert icon that’s displayed on the location where the crisis is transpiring. Tapping on the SOS Alert icon will then bring up a card with websites and phone numbers to call that could be helpful during the event, as well as real-time traffic updates for road closures and more.
Google has reportedly worked closely with the likes of Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other relief programs to properly develop SOS Alerts. According to Robert Glenn, the Director of FEMA –
“Radio and television were once the only channels to quick provide information in an emergency, but the internet and mobile phones have become increasingly important.”
SOS Alerts on Google Search and Maps look like extremely helpful tools, and they should be available to use now. While we hope none of our readers ever have to make use of them, it’s nice knowing that these features are in place should we ever have to call upon them.