With the impending Hurricane Sandy fast approaching the US East Coast, Google has launched a real-time map to help residents prepare for what is already being referred to as "Frankenstorm".
Sending the state of New York into shutdown mode, it's been estimated that more than 7,000 flights have been cancelled - also causing business history by forcing major US financial markets including the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ to suspend trading in anticipation of the storm.
Developed using standard Google Maps data, the map displays the path of Hurricane Sandy, Red Cross safety shelter locations (by way of Google's infamous red location pins) plus area webcams to allow those affected to monitor real-time conditions - updated accordingly in line with the storm's activity:
"To help people monitor the size of this storm, Google has rolled out an interactive map so you can trace Sandy's path through the country. In addition to tracking, you can get public alerts such as evacuation notices, storm warnings and more through the US government's weather website. Radar and cloud imagery, evacuation routes and information, shelter locations, and storm footage curated by Storyful, will be available.
As the storm approaches, this map will be incredibly helpful for those of us away from the affected area, but have friends and family in the hurricane's path. You can monitor the situation and if there are evacuations, you will know without having to try and reach your loved ones by phone - in most cases, the phone lines will be congested and it's advised to say off of them to allow for emergency calls to get through."
Labelled as a category 1 hurricane, it's already being referred to as a life-threatening storm - set to inflict critical damage to the mid-Atlantic coast Monday evening and early Tuesday. Google has created a specialist crisis map for those situated in New York City's five boroughs - with the option to be embedded on anyone's personal website as well as be shared via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
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