Emergency Management Blogs

Alerts & Notifications

by Rick Wimberly: Best practices for emergency notification programs

Subscribe via RSS | About this Blog | Contact Rick Wimberly

Google Announces New Public Alerts Service in Response to Hurricane Sandy
October 30, 2012
Bookmark and Share

Latest Blog Posts RSS

Emergency Management Blog - Eric Holdeman: Disaster Zone Water Disaster: FEMA Reimbursement
Apr 20 Take note that there are eligible costs that can be reimbursed.…
Emergency Management Blog - Eric Holdeman: Disaster Zone How Politics Buries Science
Apr 20 This example is for landslides, but the damage goes much further.…
Alerting Failure Draws Fire in Portland
Apr 17 The City says a failed alert this week was the fault of the alerting vendor. The vendor says it was the city's fault.…

In response to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Google launched it’s new Public Alerts service ahead of schedule.  On Monday evening, the company announced its new emergency alerting service designed to highlight natural disaster and emergency warnings in conjunction with related searches on Google and Google Maps. 

Google describes its service as “a new platform for disseminating emergency messages such as evacuation notices for hurricanes, and everyday alerts such as storm warnings.”  Alert details will initially come from the US National Weather Service and the US Geological Survey covering weather, public safety, and earthquake events.

Google says its current list of alerting partners is small.  However, it indicates future localized alerts may become available with the cooperation of local public safety agencies across the nation.  Google is encouraging citizens to contact their local emergency management agency and ask them to share alert information in a “web-friendly” format (i.e. the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)). 

Local agencies can pursue having their alerts issued through Google by taking the following steps:

  • Ensure agency alerts can be translated into the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP 1.2) standard (typically through a commercial public alerting tool)
  • Validate feed and CAP protocols using Google’s validation tool
  • Complete this form initiating a Google review of the agency’s request

We applaud Google’s efforts here and suspect this will grow into another important channel for alerting the public.  What do you think?  We’d love to hear your opinion.

Best regards,




More information on Google Public Alerts can be found here.



Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic or a personal attack. Comments are limited to 2,000 characters.

Latest Emergency Management News

Moulage Provides Realism for ShakeOut Disaster Drill

The morbid makeup ensures that emergency responders have realistic-looking victims for disaster preparation drills.
Police officer working on a laptop
FirstNet Explained

FirstNet, the proposed nationwide broadband public safety network, is big, expensive and complicated. Here are a few basic things you need to know.
FirstNet Testbeds (Interactive Map)

FirstNet began negotiations with eight testbed jurisdictions, and the projects that did reach agreements should help shape the FirstNet network.

4 Ways to Get EM

Subscribe to Emergency Management MagazineFollow Emergency Management on TwitterSubscribe to Emergency Management HeadlinesSubscribe to Emergency Management Newsletters

Featured Papers

Blog Archives