The level of destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey is still being assessed. Dozens of people lost their lives during the Category 4 hurricane.
Now, a new massive storm is on a collision course with Florida. Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall sometime this weekend. In anticipation of the storm, Google Maps is adding a feature that could help save lives.
Lifesaving Google Maps feature
Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state is coordinating with Google's emergency response team to help people navigate during the Hurricane Irma threat. Road closures will be marked on Google Maps in real-time. This will be an invaluable tool for those looking to evacuate the area.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered in certain parts of Florida, including Miami-Dade County and Fort Lauderdale. Irma is currently raging as a Category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean and should impact Florida over the weekend and into next week.
Google Maps already gives real-time traffic alerts through Waze, so the added safety feature should work great. Anyone trying to evacuate or just move around the area will be able to bypass roads that have been closed by the storm.
GasBuddy activates emergency response tools
Another app that will be helpful during the storm is GasBuddy. It announced this week that its emergency response tools to assist those impacted by hurricane-related gas outages have been activated. This includes in-app features as well as a website to notify users of gas stations with no fuel or power.
When using the GasBuddy app, affected gas stations will automatically appear when you select "Find Gas Near You." It will either be listed as "No Gas" or "No Power."
GasBuddy has also set up a website that lets you search for stations in your area that reportedly have no gas or power. Click here to check the GasBuddy tracker site.
You can also report impacted gas stations near you on the GasBuddy tracker site. Simply click the Report Station Information button and follow its instructions.
Remember, it's extremely important to be prepared when you're in the potential path of a destructive hurricane. Make sure to get information only from trusted sources.
The best source for hurricane information is the National Hurricane Center. Click here for up-to-the-moment information on its website. You can also keep track of what's happening on its Facebook page. Don't forget to share this article with friends and family to help keep them safe.