Tropical storm Isaac is making its way towards the Gulf Coast. Google, in order to track its path, has launched a new Web site as a part of the company's Crisis Response project.
The site's aim is to map out Isaac's location and likely trajectory, and also to provide information on hurricane warnings and evacuation orders in affected areas. Users can find advisories and warnings that deal with their own neighborhoods using the search tab at the top of the site, apart from information on local evacuation routes and shelters.
The map also provides links to any related YouTube videos and live webcam feeds from affected regions. As of now, although Isaac is classified as a tropical storm, it is expected to reach hurricane status by the time it makes landfall.
"When disaster strikes, people turn to the internet for information. We help ensure the right information is there in these times of need by building tools to collect and share emergency information, and by supporting first responders in using technology to help improve and save lives," the official Crisis Response page states.
The page went on to aver that "Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to make landfall as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, and the path of the storm continues to update - with current projections toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Google Crisis Response team, working with the Red Cross, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and various government and NGO partners, have assembled a Tropical Storm Isaac map to track the storm's progress and provide updated emergency information to those in need."
This project is one of Google's disaster-related initiatives, which it has launched in recent times. Its Person Finder feature, launched in 2010, has also helped users trace missing relatives after overwhelming earthquakes in Japan, Turkey, Haiti, and Japan. Google's emergency alerts feature, on the other hand, provides real-time updates on natural calamity warnings from federal agencies.