SOS Alerts FAQs

  1. What are SOS Alerts?
  2. How does Google decide when to show an SOS Alert?
  3. Where do you get the content for SOS Alerts?
  4. How can I get an SOS Alert?
  5. Why don’t I see any SOS Alerts?
  6. How can I provide feedback on the content in an SOS Alert?
  7. I have a question about making a donation.

Flood Forecasting Alerts FAQs

  1. About Flood Forecasting alerts
  2. How do the Flood Forecasting models work?
  3. How does Google decide when to show a Flood Forecasting alert?
  4. Who receives Flood Forecasting notifications?
  5. Turn off Flood Forecasting notifications
  6. When I search for “flood,” why don’t I always get a Flood Forecasting alert?
  7. Do Google’s Flood Forecasting alerts coordinate with local governmental alerts?

Global Flood Forecasting Alerts FAQs

  1. About Flood Forecasts
  2. How Flood Forecasts models work
  3. What data we use to generate flood forecasts models
  4. How Google decides when to show a Flood Forecast
  5. Who receives Flood Forecast notifications?
  6. Turn off Flood Forecasting notifications
  7. When you search for “flood” and you don’t find a Flood Forecast

Fire alert FAQs

  1. What are fire alerts?
  2. How can I find fire alerts?
  3. How does Google generate fire alerts?
  4. Who receives fire notifications?
  5. Turn off fire notifications
  6. When I search for “fires,” why don’t I always get a fire alert?

Excessive heat warnings FAQs

  1. What are excessive heat warnings?
  2. How can I find excessive heat warnings?
  3. What data does Google use to generate excessive heat warnings?
  4. When I search for “excessive heat,” why don’t I always get an excessive heat warning?

SOS Alerts FAQs

  1. What are SOS Alerts?

    SOS Alerts aim to make emergency information more accessible during a crisis. We bring together relevant and authoritative content from the web, social media, and Google products, and then highlight that information on Google products such as Search and Maps. Depending on the nature of the crisis and your location, you’ll see updates from local, national, or international authorities. These updates could include emergency phone numbers and websites, maps, translations of useful phrases, donation opportunities, and more. 

  2. How does Google decide when to show an SOS Alert?

    We look at a number of factors, such as internet connectivity in the affected area, the availability of official content from governments and other authoritative organizations, and the impact on the ground. SOS Alerts are typically available in the primary languages of the affected area, as well as English.  

    While we can’t guarantee that you’ll see an SOS Alert for every major crisis, we aim to make them available more broadly over time. Please tap the Feedback link on any SOS Alert if you have suggestions on how we can improve. We’d appreciate your input.

  3. Where do you get the content for SOS Alerts?

    We have teams around the world who source content from government agencies, first responders, trusted media outlets, and NGOs. We also aggregate information from other Google products and services, such as Google News, Google Maps, Waze, and more.
  4. How can I get an SOS Alert?

    If you’re near a major crisis and you search for related words or phrases on Google, you may see a banner indicating that there’s an ongoing crisis, followed by emergency information and resources such as useful translations or phone numbers. If you’ve installed the latest version of the Google app (Android and iOS) and your location is turned on, you may also receive a notification on your mobile device’s home screen. Tap the notification to see the full alert on Google Search. 

    If you’re outside the crisis area, you won’t get a notification, but you can still find SOS Alerts by searching for information about the event. The information you get may be different from what people closer to the crisis area see. For example, instead of seeing emergency phone numbers, you may see a link to make a donation for that crisis. 

    If you’re using Google Maps, you may also see SOS Alerts right on the map if any alerts are active in the area you’re viewing. Tap on the icon to get more information about the crisis, such as helpful phone numbers and websites.

  5. Why don’t I see any SOS Alerts?

    If you don’t see an SOS Alert during a crisis, it may be due to one of these reasons:

    • Your search query may be too broad. Try searching for keywords that include both the type of disaster and the name of the affected area. 
    • We may still be gathering and verifying information prior to launching an SOS Alert. Check back again for updates as the crisis evolves. 
    • We may not have plans to launch an SOS Alert for this emergency. We aim to make SOS Alerts available for more crises. To learn how we support crisis efforts, like awarding grants and providing volunteer opportunities, visit Crisis Response.
  6. How can I provide feedback on the content in an SOS Alert?

    Tap the Feedback link at the top of the alert to let us know how we’re doing. We’ll review your comments or suggestions as soon as possible. 
  7. I have a question about making a donation.

    Learn more about making donations to nonprofits supporting response and recovery efforts by visiting this help center

Flood Forecasting Alerts FAQs

  1. About Flood Forecasting alerts

    People who live in flood-prone areas receive localized information from Flood Forecasts alerts. You get notifications of future events as these alerts are updated several times a day based on real-time data. You can also find flood forecast alerts on Google.

    To search for floods near you:

    1. On your device, turn on your location setting.
    2. Go to google.com.
    3. Search for flood.

    To search for floods in a specific location:

    1. Go to google.com.
    2. Search for floods and include the location.

    Currently, you can find flood forecasting alerts in:

    We support additional regions through our global flood model.

  2. How do the Flood Forecasting models work?

    To provide Flood Forecasting, we monitor historical and real-time water level measurements and precipitation forecasts. We use data that’s either publicly available or available to Google through partnerships with local governments. Based on this information, we run 2 main types of machine learning models:

    • Hydrologic models: Provides forecasts of river water levels for upcoming days.
    • Inundation models: Provides forecasts for the flood extent on the ground. This information tells us who to notify and helps us provide flood maps on Google Maps.

    Find more information about these models.

  3. How does Google decide when to show a Flood Forecasting alert?

    Google displays a Flood Forecasting alert when the water in a river is higher than a warning level or is expected to be higher than a warning level. Warning levels estimate when a river will flood and are usually based on historical flood events. Government agencies that manage floods provide warning levels to Google.

    Google Flood Forecasting alerts are updated several times a day, based on real-time local data. If an alert is no longer active, Google removes it from Search and Maps results.

     

  4. Who receives Flood Forecasting notifications?

    Once an upcoming flood is identified, Google sends notifications. Notifications go to people who have their smartphone location services turned on and who are located in the area that’s flooded or expected to flood. If you aren’t near an area that’s flooded or expected to flood, you won’t get a Google flood forecast notification.
  5. Turn off Flood Forecasting notifications

    You’ll find Flood Forecasting notifications as part of the Google Search Application notifications. On Android devices, it’s available as a system app. On iPhones and iPads, you can install the Google app from the Apple App Store.

    To turn off Flood Forecasting notifications, turn off “Crisis Alerts” notifications.

    If you are within a supported area, and search for a flooded area in a specific location via google search app, you’ll find a flood forecast in your Search page results. If your location services are turned on and you search for floods without a location specified, you’ll see a flood forecast if there’s flooding near you.

    Related Resources

  6. When I search for “flood,” why don’t I always get a Flood Forecasting alert?

    Your Search results depend on location. If you search for flood and include a specific location that’s flooded, you’ll find a flood forecasting alert in your results. If your location services are turned on and you search for flood without a location specified, you’ll get an alert only if there’s flooding near you.
  7. Do Google’s Flood Forecasting alerts coordinate with local governmental alerts?

    Google partners with the relevant government agencies in charge of flood monitoring and alerting. This ensures that Google displays alerts in coordination with governmental alerts that are released in other ways.

Global Flood Forecasting Alerts FAQs

  1. About Flood Forecasts

    People with smartphone devices receive notifications about these forecasts, if they’re located in supported areas that are expected to be flooded or are already flooded. You get notifications of future events as these forecasts are updated several times a day based on real-time data. You can also find flood forecasts on Google, in your area.

    To search for floods near you:

    1. On your device, turn on your location setting.
    2. Go to google.com.
    3. Search for floods.

    To search for floods in a specific location:

    1. Go to google.com.
    2. Search for floods and include the location.
  2. How Flood Forecasts models work

    To provide Flood Forecasts, we monitor:

    • Historical data
    • Precipitation forecasts
    • Satellite images

    Based on this information and publicly available data, we run 2 main types of machine learning models:

    • Hydrologic models: Provides forecasts of river water levels for upcoming days.
    • Inundation models: Provides forecasts for the flood extent on the ground. This information tells us who to notify and helps us provide flood maps on Google Maps.
  3. What data we use to generate flood forecasts models

    Flood Forecasts rely on various weather data sources, including:

    • ECMWF forecasts
    • CPC rain gauge measurements
    • IMERG precipitation
    • Modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2023]
    • HydroSheds: this product, Flood Forecasts, incorporates data from the HydroSHEDS version 1 database which is © World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (2006-2022) and has been used herein under license. WWF has not evaluated the data as altered and incorporated within Flood Forecasts, and therefore gives no warranty regarding its accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose. Portions of the HydroSHEDS v1 database incorporate data which are the intellectual property rights of © USGS (2006-2008), NASA (2000-2005), ESRI (1992-1998), CIAT (2004-2006), UNEP-WCMC (1993), WWF (2004), Commonwealth of Australia (2007), and Her Royal Majesty and the British Crown and are used under license. The HydroSHEDS v1 database and more information are available at https://www.hydrosheds.org. The scientific citation for the HydroSHEDS version 1 database is: Lehner, B., Verdin, K., Jarvis, A. (2008): New global hydrography derived from spaceborne elevation data. Eos, Transactions, AGU, 89(10): 93-94. 

    For more information, go to How Flood Forecasts models work.

  4. How Google decides when to show a Flood Forecast

    When water in a river is higher than a warning level or expected to be higher, Google displays a Flood Forecast. Warning levels estimate when a river will flood and are usually based on historical flood events.

    Google Flood Forecasts are updated daily based on the most up-to-date meteorological data available.

    If a forecast is no longer active, Google removes it from Search results and Maps.

  5. Who receives Flood Forecast notifications?

    Flood Forecasts are published based on data that meets a high accuracy bar. Notifications are sent only for Flood Forecasts with an even higher confidence bar.

    Notifications go to people who have their smartphone location services turned on, have installed the Google Search application and who are located in supported areas that are flooded or expected to flood. If you aren’t near a supported area that’s flooded or expected to flood, you won’t get a Google flood forecast notification.

  6. Turn off Flood Forecasting notifications

    You’ll find Flood Forecasting notifications as part of the Google Search Application notifications. On Android devices, it’s available as a system app. On iPhones and iPads, you can install the Google app from the Apple App Store.

    To turn off Flood Forecasting notifications, in the app notifications settings, turn off “Crisis Alerts.”

    If you are within a supported area, and search for a flooded area in a specific location via google search app, you’ll find a flood forecast in your Search page results. If your location services are turned on and you search for floods without a location specified, you’ll see a flood forecast if there’s flooding near you.

  7. When you search for “flood” and you don’t find a Flood Forecast

    We provide flood forecasts for several regions in a selection of countries and we work to expand our support globally.

    • If you don’t receive an alert and you’re near a flooded area: You may be located in an area we don’t have data for yet.
    • If you search for a flooded area in a specific location and you’re within a supported area: You’ll find flood forecast in your Search page results.
    • If your location services are turned on and you search for floods without a location specified: If there’s a flood near you, you’ll find a flood forecast.

Fire alert FAQs

  1. What are fire alerts?

    Fires alerts provide near real-time fire boundary info and safety tips to help users protect themselves around fire areas.

    Important: Fire impacted areas are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. Check official sources for more information.

  2. How can I find fire alerts?

    To search for fire alerts near you:

    1. On your device, turn on location services.
    2. Go to google.com.
    3. Search for "fire"
      • To find fire alerts in a specific location, include the location in your search.
  3. How does Google generate fire alerts?

    We generate fire alerts with a deep learning model that tracks fire boundaries with real-time satellite imagery. The model is based on superresolution image fusion of hyperspectral imagery from third-party satellites like: 

  4. Who receives fire notifications?

    Once a fire is identified, Google sends notifications. Notifications go to people who have their smartphone location services turned on and who are located in the area that’s near a fire. If you aren’t near a fire, you won’t get a Google fire notification.

  5. Turn off fire notifications

    You’ll find fire notifications as part of the Google Search Application notifications. On Android devices, it’s available as a system app. On iPhones and iPads, you can install the Google app from the Apple App Store.

    To turn off fire notifications, turn off “Crisis Alerts” notifications.

  6. When I search for “fires,” why don’t I always get a fire alert?

    Here are some reasons you may not find a fire alert when you search:

    • We may not support your location yet. We're working to expand our global support. We currently support:
      • Brazil
      • Canada
      • North Argentina
      • North Chile
    • The fire may be too small to detect with satellites.
    • There's a temporary technical issue with the satellite data.
    • Your location services are turned off and your search doesn't have a location specified.
    • There isn’t a fire in your area.

Excessive heat warnings FAQs

  1. What are excessive heat warnings?

    Google displays excessive heat warnings when:

    • The combination of temperature and humidity is considered dangerous for the human body (according to the NWS Heat Index danger threshold).
    • Heat is above normal for that location in comparison to previous years.
    • Excessive heat conditions lasts for at least 2 consecutive days.

    They also provide:

    Insights and relevant weather information like:

    Important: Excessive heat warnings are approximate and for informational purposes only. Check official sources for more information.

  2. How can I find excessive heat warnings?

    To search for excessive heat warnings near you:

    1. On your device, turn on location services.
    2. Go to google.com.
    3. Search for excessive heat.
      • To find excessive heat warnings in a specific location, include the location in your search query.
    If we detect an excessive heat warning near you or near the selected location, you’ll find an excessive heat warning on google.com.
  3. What data does Google use to generate excessive heat warnings?

    We rely on weather data for forecasts and historical data.
  4. When I search for “excessive heat,” why don’t I always get an excessive heat warning?

    Here are some reasons you may not get an excessive heat warning when you search:

    • There may not be excessive heat in your area, according to current definitions. Learn more about excessive heat warnings.
    • The temperature and humidity in your area may not be extreme in comparison to previous years. 
    • We do not support this location yet. We’re working to expand our global support. 

    Tip: If your location services are on when you search for “excessive heat,” you’ll find excessive heat warnings for your area. To search in another location, add the location to your search query.

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