Like many folks throughout the Southeast U.S. today, I'm working from my home keeping up with the weather reports, checking on family and friends and preparing: in my case, it's a milk-and-bread stop at a Durham, NC grocery store. Early this morning, a vast area of the Outer Banks in the East Coast started to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to cause damage across the Carolinas and Appalachia.
As the country anxiously waits to see the full impact of the storm, we’re making preparations across Google’s products and people to help the communities affected.
Crisis Response and SOS Alerts
If you search for Hurricane Florence, you’ll see an SOS Alert which provides relevant emergency information including Florence’s latest location, the most up-to-date news, and authoritative tweets for the storm. We’ve also launched a crisis map with information about the storm path from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and evacuation routes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Waze.com-sourced road closures and shelters, and more. Those in the area of impact may also receive personalized hurricane alerts based on official NOAA hurricane advisories. For people located outside the area, related searches will take them to the latest news and to sites where they can make a donation.
$2.5 million from Google.org, Google employees and youWe know from experience that in the wake of these storms there is a great need for all types of resources, so we’re also launching a $2 million matching campaign to support the American Red Cross as they provide essential aid and shelter to the impacted communities. This includes up to $1 million from Google.org, and up to $1 million from the public. Internally we’ve launched a $500,000 matching campaign for Google and Googlers to support the forthcoming relief efforts.
You, too, can participate in this campaign, starting now.
The states in Florence's path are home to more than 2,000 Googlers and their families, and 10 Google offices and data centers. We’re mobilizing a group of volunteers who will be ready to quickly help provide connectivity to the hardest hit areas.
Like the rest of the nation, we will watch Hurricane Florence's progress. As we do, we’ll continue to look for ways we can help.