Back in 2014, Facebook introduced ‘Safety Check,’ which allows users to verify they are safe after a natural disaster or other terrible local event. Google has been working on something similar, but more geared towards keeping people informed if they’re in the midst of a crisis. The feature is called ‘SOS alerts,’ and it’s being rolled out today.
If you search for something related to an ongoing disaster, you will now see a series of cards with official updates from governments, affected areas, and phone numbers to call for information. If you are near the event, you may also receive a push notification that takes you to these results.
Google Maps will also display red SOS icons for affected areas. Tapping on them will display phone numbers and websites for help and information, as well as a link to Google search results. Maps will also display real-time updates like road closures and transit updates.
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