Twitter announced Twitter Alerts as a way of broadcasting crucial information from emergency response organization.
This makes Twitter take one step closer to letting users get accurate, critical, and important information from trusted organizations during times of natural disasters and other emergencies. This service will come in handy when other forms of communications get jammed or breakdown or are not accessible. This announcement was made in a blog post by Twitter.
Users will now be able to get important information when they need it the most.
Twitter messages tagged as alerts from disaster management organizations will appear on user handset in a variety of different forms. Users will get an SMS and those that have the apps on their smartphones will get highlights of the content. A number of organizations in the US are now a part of the Twitter Alert system including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
According to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate “Social media has revolutionized communications during disasters”. He indicated that these days communication has become a two way street. People get instant news and organizations handling disaster management get instant feedback from users. Twitter alerts also serves as an important place where authentic information can be spread.
Individual organizations that have evinced interest in this program will have the liberty to decide what they consider worthy of alerts. They can warn users about impending disasters, provide evacuation instructions, manage crowds and control misinformation.
As of now organizations in the United States, Korea, and Japan can send alerts. The American Red Cross is one of the participating organizations.