Tag Archives: crisis response

Supporting those affected by the California fires

Fueled by high winds, fast-moving wildfires in the California wine country and the Anaheim Hills have spread quickly—killing dozens, damaging tens of thousands of acres, destroying infrastructure, forcing evacuations, and leaving hundreds of people unaccounted for.


Like many people in the Bay Area, my first news of the North Bay fires was the smell of smoke Monday morning. My thoughts immediately turned to my family and childhood home in Santa Rosa. My family was safe, but I raced up to Petaluma to see how I could help. In addition to needed resources on the ground, I saw how centralized information can be crucial to help people find shelter and other resources.

SOS Alerts and Fire Information

On Monday, the Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert—a set of features in Google Search and Maps that helps you quickly understand what’s going on and decide what to do during a crisis. After launching the Alert, the Crisis Response team created a Crisis Map with shelter locations, vacancy status, pet accommodations and shelter needs, crowdsourced via waze.com, local volunteers, and Googlers such as myself. The map has been updated to include recent satellite imagery for the North Bay area as well.
alerts

In addition to these map-based resources, the team has pushed out air-quality resources via Google Feed, with information from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and American Lung association.

ca fires

$1 million for fire relief and recovery

To help with the relief and recovery in California, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources in the affected regions. To support immediate needs, we’re distributing funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Red Cross. We’re also supporting the Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation Sonoma County, and the Latino Community Foundation, which are coordinating the longer-term fire recovery initiatives.


Google.org will support these organizations and others to identify ways Google volunteers can bring value to the affected areas. Right now, we’re in discussions with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center and have sent a team of technical Googler volunteers to assess the connectivity needs of first responders and evacuees.


Efforts on the ground

Google Express is also providing in-kind donations of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank. And Google’s food team will partner with Off the Grid to provide more than 25,000 meals via food trucks to Napa and Sonoma County shelters over the next month.


My hometown of Santa Rosa is one of many that has been devastated, and the fires are still active in Northern California and the Anaheim Hills. As the situation progresses, Google will continue to update the Crisis Map and SOS alerts to help deliver the most up-to-date information available. My thoughts are with the North Bay community and others that have been impacted by recent natural disasters around the world.

Supporting those affected by the California fires

Fueled by high winds, fast-moving wildfires in the California wine country and the Anaheim Hills have spread quickly—killing dozens, damaging tens of thousands of acres, destroying infrastructure, forcing evacuations, and leaving hundreds of people unaccounted for.


Like many people in the Bay Area, my first news of the North Bay fires was the smell of smoke Monday morning. My thoughts immediately turned to my family and childhood home in Santa Rosa. My family was safe, but I raced up to Petaluma to see how I could help. In addition to needed resources on the ground, I saw how centralized information can be crucial to help people find shelter and other resources.

SOS Alerts and Fire Information

On Monday, the Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert—a set of features in Google Search and Maps that helps you quickly understand what’s going on and decide what to do during a crisis. After launching the Alert, the Crisis Response team created a Crisis Map with shelter locations, vacancy status, pet accommodations and shelter needs, crowdsourced via waze.com, local volunteers, and Googlers such as myself. The map has been updated to include recent satellite imagery for the North Bay area as well.
alerts

In addition to these map-based resources, the team has pushed out air-quality resources via Google Feed, with information from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and American Lung association.

ca fires

$1 million for fire relief and recovery

To help with the relief and recovery in California, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources in the affected regions. To support immediate needs, we’re distributing funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Red Cross. We’re also supporting the Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation Sonoma County, and the Latino Community Foundation, which are coordinating the longer-term fire recovery initiatives.


Google.org will support these organizations and others to identify ways Google volunteers can bring value to the affected areas. Right now, we’re in discussions with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center and have sent a team of technical Googler volunteers to assess the connectivity needs of first responders and evacuees.


Efforts on the ground

Google Express is also providing in-kind donations of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank. And Google’s food team will partner with Off the Grid to provide more than 25,000 meals via food trucks to Napa and Sonoma County shelters over the next month.


My hometown of Santa Rosa is one of many that has been devastated, and the fires are still active in Northern California and the Anaheim Hills. As the situation progresses, Google will continue to update the Crisis Map and SOS alerts to help deliver the most up-to-date information available. My thoughts are with the North Bay community and others that have been impacted by recent natural disasters around the world.

Source: Search


Providing support to those affected by Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria recently made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 10 people and leaving much of the island without power or water. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, millions more are looking to rebuild—the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people, and devastated the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

I was born and raised outside of San Juan, in a town called Cupey, and left the island to study in the States. Today, I still have family there, as well as in Barranquitas, towards the center of the island. The roof broke off my grandmother's terrace, a place filled with many memories of family gatherings growing up. My uncles, who are agricultural entrepreneurs in Barranquitas, were able to visit their land just yesterday and see the damage caused to their crops, completely turning their business upside down. I'm lucky that my family members are all safe, but the damage will still take years to repair.

To help with the relief and recovery in Puerto Rico and beyond, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources to the affected regions. To support immediate humanitarian needs, we’re distributing funds to organizations including the Red Cross, World Food Program, and UNICEF. We’re also supporting NetHope, which provides Internet access in the wake of natural disasters around the world, because connectivity can be a critical link in providing basic needs like food, water and medical care. This month has taxed the resources of first responder agencies across the region, and we want to make sure nonprofits like NetHope have the resources they need to respond to Hurricane Maria. We’ve also had a small team of engineers volunteer in the wake of recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to help restore connectivity by setting up hot-spots and assisting with other technical needs that local nonprofits and shelters may have. We’re working with NetHope to find ways that our technical volunteers can be most helpful in Puerto Rico as well.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

In times of crises, having access to timely safety information can be critical. Ahead of the storm, Google’s Crisis Response team launched SOS Alerts for Hurricane Maria. Although few people have connectivity in the storm’s wake, we’ve continued to update the alert with information on power outages, emergency information contacts, the damage to the Guajataca dam, and crisis maps in both English and Spanish. Those outside of the region can also find the latest news and information, as well as an easy way to donate to relief efforts, directly through Search.

As the 2017 hurricane season has pummeled the U.S. and the Caribbean, Google.org, Google employees and the public have collectively donated $7 million for relief efforts in the areas affected by Harvey, Irma and Maria. My thoughts are with everyone in Puerto Rico and other affected areas, and it gives me solace to know that my colleagues and company are doing everything they can to help.

Source: Search


Providing support to those affected by Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria recently made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 10 people and leaving much of the island without power or water. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, millions more are looking to rebuild—the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people, and devastated the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

I was born and raised outside of San Juan, in a town called Cupey, and left the island to study in the States. Today, I still have family there, as well as in Barranquitas, towards the center of the island. The roof broke off my grandmother's terrace, a place filled with many memories of family gatherings growing up. My uncles, who are agricultural entrepreneurs in Barranquitas, were able to visit their land just yesterday and see the damage caused to their crops, completely turning their business upside down. I'm lucky that my family members are all safe, but the damage will still take years to repair.

To help with the relief and recovery in Puerto Rico and beyond, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources to the affected regions. To support immediate humanitarian needs, we’re distributing funds to organizations including the Red Cross, World Food Program, and UNICEF. We’re also supporting NetHope, which provides Internet access in the wake of natural disasters around the world, because connectivity can be a critical link in providing basic needs like food, water and medical care. This month has taxed the resources of first responder agencies across the region, and we want to make sure nonprofits like NetHope have the resources they need to respond to Hurricane Maria. We’ve also had a small team of engineers volunteer in the wake of recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to help restore connectivity by setting up hot-spots and assisting with other technical needs that local nonprofits and shelters may have. We’re working with NetHope to find ways that our technical volunteers can be most helpful in Puerto Rico as well.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

In times of crises, having access to timely safety information can be critical. Ahead of the storm, Google’s Crisis Response team launched SOS Alerts for Hurricane Maria. Although few people have connectivity in the storm’s wake, we’ve continued to update the alert with information on power outages, emergency information contacts, the damage to the Guajataca dam, and crisis maps in both English and Spanish. Those outside of the region can also find the latest news and information, as well as an easy way to donate to relief efforts, directly through Search.

As the 2017 hurricane season has pummeled the U.S. and the Caribbean, Google.org, Google employees and the public have collectively donated $7 million for relief efforts in the areas affected by Harvey, Irma and Maria. My thoughts are with everyone in Puerto Rico and other affected areas, and it gives me solace to know that my colleagues and company are doing everything they can to help.

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Update: In less than 24 hours, together we raised $2 million for Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. Thanks to your donations, we have met our goal. However, the crisis isn’t over. Your contributions can still provide critical relief to those in need. Although Google is no longer matching donations, please consider giving directly to these organizations. 

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).
Irma matching

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Helping people stay informed and connected in Japan and Ecuador

Over the last few days, Japan and Ecuador have been affected by significant earthquakes. Hundreds have been killed, and many thousands injured or displaced. We’re doing a few things to try to help.
Find and call loved ones
To help people post and search for family or friends affected by the disaster we activated Person Finder in Spanish and Japanese. We’re also offering free calls via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer or Google Voice to and within Ecuador to help people communicate with loved ones.

Learn more on the ground
For people in and around the affected areas, we have Google Now cards with critical crisis-related information like missing person resources, safety zones, and aftershock safety tips. We’ve made the same information available on search for earthquake-related searches. In Japan, we launched a landing page and crisis map showing accessible roads and places where people can get disaster resources like fresh water. In Ecuador, we updated Waze with more than 90 safe place locations, including local shelter information.

Support for the response
Given the scope of the damage and need in Ecuador, Google.org has committed $250,000 to support relief efforts on the ground. We’re also providing up to $250,000 in Google employee gift-matching for both Japan and Ecuador.

An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis

Millions of people around the world want to do what they can to help refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand as we continue to think about what Google—and all of us—can do to help.

A month ago we invited everyone to make a donation to support the work of organizations providing essential assistance to refugees and migrants. We were amazed that in just over 48 hours people around the world donated €5M ($5.5. million) to support the work of Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As promised, we then matched your donations with €5M in Google.org grants to support high-impact projects, like offering wireless connectivity solutions in refugee camps, providing emergency cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and enabling access to education. Googlers around the world also gave, donating more than €1.2M (matched by Google) to charities working on the humanitarian efforts.

These organizations and their staff are doing incredible work in very difficult circumstances, and have the skills and contacts necessary on the ground. With that in mind, we’ve been working with them to better understand how our technology expertise can be put to work, too. One issue identified was the the lack of timely, hyperlocal information for refugees. Working with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, we’ve developed an open source project called “Crisis Info Hub” to disseminate such information in a lightweight, battery-saving way. Already live in Lesvos (with more locations coming online shortly) and being run by our NGO partners, Crisis Info Hub is providing refugees—most of whom carry smartphones—with critical information for their journeys: lodging, transportation, medical facilities, etc. And we’re working to make connectivity in the region more widespread and reliable by partnering with NetHope to deploy robust access solutions where they’re needed most.

Migrant-response.width-972.png

When refugees travel across different countries, they’re confronted with languages they don’t speak, which can make it even more difficult to know where to turn to access the most basic needs. Just this year, we saw a 5X growth in Arabic translations in Germany, which got us thinking about what we could do to make our products work better for Arabic speakers in these places. We’ve since added Arabic as our 28th language for instant visual translation, enabling immediate, offline translation of signs and other printed text from English or German to Arabic. We’re also asking anyone who knows the languages spoken by refugees or the countries they’re traveling through to help us improve translations through Google Translate Community—our goal is 2 million community contributions. Hundreds of thousands of people have helped out already; if you speak Arabic and German, we’d love your help.

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners on the ground to evaluate how else we can bring the best of Google’s resources to help out with this tragic situation. Thank you for all your generosity and support so far.

Source: Translate


An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis

Millions of people around the world want to do what they can to help refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand as we continue to think about what Google—and all of us—can do to help.

A month ago we invited everyone to make a donation to support the work of organizations providing essential assistance to refugees and migrants. We were amazed that in just over 48 hours people around the world donated €5M ($5.5. million) to support the work of Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As promised, we then matched your donations with €5M in Google.org grants to support high-impact projects, like offering wireless connectivity solutions in refugee camps, providing emergency cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and enabling access to education. Googlers around the world also gave, donating more than €1.2M (matched by Google) to charities working on the humanitarian efforts.

These organizations and their staff are doing incredible work in very difficult circumstances, and have the skills and contacts necessary on the ground. With that in mind, we’ve been working with them to better understand how our technology expertise can be put to work, too. One issue identified was the the lack of timely, hyperlocal information for refugees. Working with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, we’ve developed an open source project called “Crisis Info Hub” to disseminate such information in a lightweight, battery-saving way. Already live in Lesvos (with more locations coming online shortly) and being run by our NGO partners, Crisis Info Hub is providing refugees—most of whom carry smartphones—with critical information for their journeys: lodging, transportation, medical facilities, etc. And we’re working to make connectivity in the region more widespread and reliable by partnering with NetHope to deploy robust access solutions where they’re needed most.

Migrant-response.width-972.png

When refugees travel across different countries, they’re confronted with languages they don’t speak, which can make it even more difficult to know where to turn to access the most basic needs. Just this year, we saw a 5X growth in Arabic translations in Germany, which got us thinking about what we could do to make our products work better for Arabic speakers in these places. We’ve since added Arabic as our 28th language for instant visual translation, enabling immediate, offline translation of signs and other printed text from English or German to Arabic. We’re also asking anyone who knows the languages spoken by refugees or the countries they’re traveling through to help us improve translations through Google Translate Community—our goal is 2 million community contributions. Hundreds of thousands of people have helped out already; if you speak Arabic and German, we’d love your help.

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners on the ground to evaluate how else we can bring the best of Google’s resources to help out with this tragic situation. Thank you for all your generosity and support so far.

Source: Translate