Google and the National Hurricane Center are teaming up to deliver personalized hurricane data. The program, hoped to be available this hurricane season (June 1st to November 30th), will tell people if a storm surge threatens t
heir particular home.
A storm surge is the massive amount of water a hurricane propels onto land, and it is considered one of the most deadly and destructive elements of a hurricane.
The new program will combine existing hurricane forecasting data with a Google application so that "People can plug in their address and see at what level they are at risk," Bill Read, head of the National Hurricane Center, told Reuters.
The National Hurricane Center currently uses a program called SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) that estimates storm surge heights by taking into account the size, internal pressure, forward speed, track and wind strength of a hurricane.
By combining this information with Google’s accessibility, people will know whether to leave certain areas, potentially saving lives.
It is meant to alleviate the amount of phone calls that flood local emergency systems during storms. Numerous people call emergency services with concerns about flooding in their area, and by making the information public, people can not only get real-time information about how storm surges will affect them, but in doing so they can free up phone lines for emergencies.
In addition to the collaboration with Google, the National Hurricane Center will provide color-coded graphics to show storm surge probabilities of affected areas and the time it will take for the surge to exceed five feet. Such graphics will help emergency services determine road closures and other vital decisions.
With such advancements, hopefully we can see technology save lives.
By Danny Scuderi
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