Google is expanding its Flood Hub platform flood forecasting capabilities to 80 countries, including territories with high flood risk and extreme weather. The new expansion of Flood Hub includes countries across Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and South and Central America — territories with high percentages of the population are exposed to flood risk and are experiencing more extreme weather. The Flood Hub platform provides flood data and forecasts up to seven days in advance, empowering governments, aid organizations, and individuals to take proactive measures.
Climate change has led to increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, such as flooding, posing safety and economic threats. Around 250 million people worldwide are affected by flooding annually, resulting in approximately $10 billion in economic damages.
Flood Hub combines diverse data sources like weather forecasts and satellite imagery using AI and machine learning. It integrates the Hydrologic Model, which predicts river water flow, with the Inundation Model, which forecasts affected areas and water depth. Google is also working to make flood forecasting alerts available in Search and Maps.
In collaboration with organizations like the Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies, and Yale University, Google.org is also supporting vulnerable communities with offline alerting networks. Trained community volunteers amplify the reach of Flood Hub’s warnings so that those without smartphones or internet access receive timely alerts. This holistic approach nicely combines technology and community engagement to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect at-risk populations.