Google and Nixle are working together to help people better respond to emergency situations in their communities and schools.
Emergency alerts, about crimes in progress, lock-downs, natural disasters, missing children and other events will now show up when people do relevant searches on Google web search, maps and Google Now:
- Google Search: Search a location or keyword triggering an active Nixle alert, the alert will be visible at the top of search results with the ablity to click for more information.
- Google Maps: Search a location on Google Maps and the active Nixle alert will be pinned to that geography.
- Google Now: Android phones within the affected community will display the Nixle alert directly on the phone through Google Now
San Francisco-based Nixle is a public safety communications platform used by more than 6,500 public service agencies including police, fire departments and emergency management services. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (where I serve as a board member) uses Nixle for missing children alerts as a supplement to its Amber alerts.
Nixle also works with schools, according to spokesperson Jim Gatta, who use the service to notify parents and other community members on a wide range of issues from day-to-day event notifications to school lock-downs Nixle also provides schools and police departments with anonymous reporting systems for crimes, bullying or potential self-harm.
(Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial support from Google).