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Emergency Alerts Now Show Up on Google

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FILE ART - Google building

    Google will feature emergency alerts from police, fire and emergency management agencies on Google maps and search pages, according to reports.

    Google's growing public alert system comes via a partnership with Nixle, a company that sends alerts to cellphones and social media, USA Today reported. Law enforcement agencies in Chicago and Los Angeles are some of the 6,500 police groups using Nixle.

    Although the agencies serve more than 150 million people, only 2 million subscribe to alerts, Nixle chief executive Eric Liu told USA Today. That will change when the new alerts show up in Google Search and Google Maps which reaches more billions of transactions a month.

     "That's just a mind-boggling number," Liu said. "It will empower local police to access that base in the interest of public safety."
    Google's alert system just celebrated its first anniversary on Jan. 25, and previously gave warnings from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, including public alerts during Hurricane Sandy. Now the alerts will be much more "hyperlocal," according to Google communications manager Kate Parker.
    The partnership makes sense for the world's largest search engine. If we spend so much time online, emergency alerts should be informing us there, too.