A disaster could strike at any time, so it’s important to be alerted to the problems in your neck of the woods. Google launched a public alerts program for their Google Maps.
A new feature for Google Maps, which launched Wednesday, allows you to quickly find emergency alerts in your town or around the world.
Called Google Public Alerts, the new feature draws on weather, public safety, and earthquake alerts from federal agencies to supplement Google Map searches. (Read the article at PCWorld.)
The new Google service is available at google.org/publicalerts. The program is still growing and perfecting but it’s an awesome addition to preppers repertoire.
You can see more information about the alert by clicking the "more information" link below it. In this case, the link takes you to a Google Alerts page that displays the text of the alert and a local map of the affected area.
Whether or not an alert will appear in the results column depends on activity at a location, severity of the alert, and the wording of the search query.
If you're curious about emergencies outside your local area, you can go to the landing page for Public Alerts. There you can see where alerts have been sounded around the world by allowing your cursor to hover over any orange circle on the map.
When you do that, a summary of the alert appears in a pop-up box. Clicking the circle displays a fixed box with a link to the source of the alert. (Read the article at PCWorld.)
The system also provides information on where emergency responders should go. (Read the Google announcement here.)
There are also a number of other resources that preppers can use to be notified of alerts, disasters or coming storms.
Here are a few:
• National Weather Service: The NWS has forecasts, current conditions and maps on their website. They also send out national weather reports through their Twitter account.
• FEMA: FEMA has a number of Twitter feeds for different regions of the United States. They send out weather and other disaster alerts straight to your phone.
Weather Channel: The Weather Channel has a map which displays tornado, thunderstorm, flood, heat and other weather alerts on their front page. They also announce major activity through their Twitter account.
• Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System: This is a great resource for international weather happenings. They notify you about earthquakes, tropical cyclones, and man-made emergencies that could spread internationally. They also have a Twitter account.
• The Ready Store’s Twitter Account: The Ready Store has a Twitter account that follows all of these accounts. We try and post the vital news from each of these outlets. Follow us on Twitter and we can deliver this information straight to your computer or phone.
Disaster Preparedness Handbook: Guide for Families