Twitter wants to send you mobile alerts during emergencies.
Company launched a mobile alert system for its US users that let them to receive emergency notices as text messages. Alerts are available from the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, World Health Organization, and other federal and local groups. It will help the people to take precautions against natural disasters, terrorist attacks etc.
During the Boston terror attack, Twitter was widely used by Boston police department to keep update the city residents about the latest happenings. FEMA’s(the Federal Emergency Management Agency)tweets helped several who affected by Hurricane Sandy to find shelters, last year. And The U.S. Department of State used Twitter as an effective way of communication to “distribute critical information to the public” during US army’s Afghan, Zimbabwe missions.
“Today, we’re launching Twitter Alerts, a new feature that brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information during emergencies, natural disasters or when other communications services aren’t accessible.” Bridget Coyne, Twitter Partner Manager, for Government & Politics announced in blog post.
To subscribe to the alerts, users should visit respective groups’ twitter page. There will be an option “adding/alerts” at the bottom. While clicking on “Activate alerts” button, Twitter will ask for your mobile number to receive alerts during emergency situations. Message alert will be activated, after you successfully confirmed your number. Users can receive push notifications via Twitter iOS and Android apps too.
Alert service from some agencies are available to non US customers also. For instance, Twitter users in UK, Australia and South Korea can subscribe for FEMA’s alerts, other than US people.
According to Twitter, Currently, more than 100 participating NGOs and government agencies in the U.S., Japan and Korea are participating the company’s new venture. Other interested organizations, emergency management agencies,city- municipal governments, and county-regional agencies can join the program by submitting an enrollment form listed on Twitter’s official website.
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