Google Crisis Response seeks to make critical information more accessible around natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Google's contributions can include: updated satellite imagery of the disaster area, charitable donations to organizations on-the-ground, outreach through Google web properties, and engineering products and information services, such as Google Person Finder and Landing Pages, designed to organize and coordinate critical response information.
Google Person Finder allows people to check the status of loved ones while also providing relief organizations with a common back-end to store data. Rather than using several different tools designed for the same purpose, Google Person Finder has been launched in multiple languages so that relief organizations have one central tool with which to work.
The Google Crisis Response team works to make Google’s products useful in a broad range of emergencies; services such as Public Alerts provide a warning before disasters cause damage in several countries around the world. We develop and support tools that are open and scalable and can be used by others to respond to a disaster. The Crisis Response team will also directly respond to a crisis with targeted tools and resources. These targeted response efforts are determined by assessing the severity and impact of a disaster to determine if Google is able to uniquely contribute tools or content to response efforts.
Yes. Google has responded to crises around the world while engaging employees from many countries and offices. Many of the Google Crisis Response tools are also available in multiple languages.
Google has donated several million dollars to relief organizations in the wake of many natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, Cyclone Nargis and the 2010 Pakistan floods. Google also gives people around the world easy ways to donate, through promotions on the Google.com homepage, and links on Landing Pages.
It depends on the needs of the crisis and our ability to assist. Typically, though, our ability to provide imagery and collaborative tools are most helpful within the first few weeks following a disaster.
Google offers a number of tools and resources that are helpful in crisis management and response, including CrisisMap, Google Apps, such as Docs and Forms, and Google Maps and Google Earth. Examples range from organizing volunteer databases through Google spreadsheets to personalized maps that are designed for sharing, collaborating, and embedding information about resource needs and availabilities during crises.
Google Crisis Response is a project of Google.org. We have a staff of engineers, product managers, and partnership professionals who are dedicated to working on efforts that focus on making critical information more accessible during natural disasters.