Archives for September 2013

Twitter launches emergency alerts

TwitteralertsFema screenshotWe are excited to share the news that Twitter has launched “Twitter Alerts” to enable official agencies to issue emergency alerts during times of crisis.

Users who sign up for an agency’s Twitter alerts will receive emergency messages directly to their mobile phone via a text message, push notification or highlighted Tweet.

The ability to issue Twitter Alerts via this service is available free to local, national and international institutions that provide critical information to the general public such as:

  • Law enforcement and public safety agencies
  • Emergency management agencies
  • City and municipal governments as well as their agencies and representatives
  • County and regional agencies, providing services to cities and municipalities
  • And select state, federal and national agencies and NGOs.

Agencies need to first apply (and update their security) and once approved they will then have the Alerts feature displayed on their Twitter profile which followers can click to sign up as indicated below:


Agencies will also receive a custom url to promote to their constituents to signup eg This is critical as followers will not automatically receive Twitter Alerts – they must sign up for the service. The agency will have the Alert function available to them when they are signed in to Twitter, which they can then activate in times of emergency for specific tweets. The service also operates from mobile devices.

So far participating agencies have signed up from the United States, Japan and Korea. Global nonprofits include the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and World Health Organization.

We have added this information to the Emergency 2.0 Wiki in our Tips for the Public and also our Guidelines for Emergency Agencies, Government, Community Agencies, Schools and Business section on Establishing Social Media Channels.

We  also plan to add the participating agencies to our Emergency 2.0 Wiki global directory and are calling for volunteers to help add the content and keep it updated. If you are interested in helping please contact us.

Please help spread the word about Twitter Alerts to accelerate global takeup of this vital lifesaving service.

Many thanks,

Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (Voluntary)

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Imagine a world of resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters #2030NOW

Image courtesy Emergency 2.0 Australia Project

Image courtesy Emergency 2.0 Australia Project

Right now a global conversation is taking place online via #2030NOW about what kind of world we want in 2030.

Instigated by the Social Good Summit (22-24 September) in New York, with meetups around the globe, leading experts, advocates and innovators are sharing their ideas on how social media and technology can address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

SocialGoodSummit_Logo_2013_bWe’re adding our voice to the discussion, sharing ideas on how we can all help build resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters. As well as taking part in the Twitter conversation, we’ll also be highlighting our article published on Plus Social Good, a community linked to the Summit. Please see the excerpt below:

“Imagine a world where during a disaster everyone knows how to use social media to save their own lives and the lives of others.

Where the whole of the community: emergency services, government, NGOs, community groups, business, media and citizens use social media to inform, share and collaborate to face disaster.

Where emergency services utilise social media to instantly broadcast emergency warnings to the public. Where citizens have emergency apps on their mobile devices providing them with live alerts, information on how to prepare for disasters and maps of evacuation shelters. And, which empowers them to share disaster information from the scene using social media.

Where emergency services actively crowdsource localised information from citizens? Where emergency information, road closures, live photos and video are posted on crowdmaps by the whole of community.

Where digital volunteers locally and across the globe work around the clock to help emergency services monitor social media and respond in real time to calls for help.

Where in the recovery phase of a disaster, social media, mobile apps and crowdmaps are used to empower communities to directly help one another by donating and accessing relief supplies, accommodation and volunteer help.

We, the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community, believe this vision of resilient communities, empowered to use social media in disasters is possible and are actively working around the world to make this a reality. To help facilitate this, we created the Wiki, a world first free global resource for using social media in emergencies.” To read more please see Plus Social Good.

The Emergency 2.0 Wiki is looking forward to joining the #2030NOW discussion and sharing ideas on how we can all help build resilient communities empowered to use social media in disasters. We encourage you to add your voice!


Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (voluntary)

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