Twitter launches emergency alerts for cell phones
Posted at: 09/25/2013 10:49 PM
| Updated at: 09/25/2013 11:08 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
How would you like to be among the first to know about a disaster or a major catastrophe?
Twitter is making sure you don't miss important information from agencies like the Red Cross.
Most of us use the social media site to keep up with a favorite celebrity or get the latest news headlines. But Twitter is rolling out a new feature that could keep you and your family safe.
News10NBC wanted to know what this new feature is all about and how you can sign up for it.
Getting the right information in an emergency is crucial to keeping you and your family safe. Now Twitter wants to make sure you receive emergency alerts from places like the Red Cross, FEMA, the Centers for Disease Control and soon Rural Metro.
Twitter is launching an alerts feature that will allow you to receive emergency notices as text messages. If you sign up, you will receive a notification directly to your cell phone whenever one of those agencies marks a tweet as an alert. You'll also see an orange bell indicating this text message is an alert.
You'll be able to get information locally, like from the American Red Cross and soon from Rural Metro ambulance.
Rural Metro spokesperson Lashay Harris says the ambulance corporation has a Twitter account, but isn't using it for alerts yet. She says that's down the road.
Red Cross spokesperson Jay Bonefede says this is a powerful tool.
“That's probably the biggest thing is just informing the public of what is happening. Obviously if there's been a major disaster there's not going to be power. But you might still have your cell phone charged from before or be able to charge it in your car, so it's just one more way to get that information,” said Jay Bonafede, Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross.
So how do you subscribe? Twitter has a page where you can sign up to receive alerts from the agencies you want. To view the page, click here.
Twitter promises to expand this service to include more public institutions and non-governmental organizations.