Google rolls out SOS alert feature for Search and Maps

New facility will help internet users understand what to do in an emergency situation

Google has added a new SOS alerts feature to its Google Search and Maps applications to provide live updates about incidents occurring.

The search giant said the new set of features should help internet users quickly understand what is going on and what to do during an emergency situation.

The company has teamed up with a number of agencies including the Red Cross, who are working on the front line of relief efforts to provide the alerts.

During a crisis, internet users may see an SOS alert at the top of search results when searching for the incident or location. They’ll also see maps, top stories and-when available-authoritative local information such as emergency phone numbers, websites, and translations of useful phrases.

Depending on how close they are to an affected area, users may also get a notification on their mobile device that directs them to such information.

The company already has a number of services available for responding to crises, including Google Person Finder, Google Crisis Map and Google Public Alerts.