Twitter launches emergency alert program

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

twitter for disasters
Twitter is launching a new program to keep individuals updated during emergency events.

Twitter can be used for so much more than following your favorite celebrity’s every move and catching up on the latest Vine video. In fact, several authorities have used the social media  to inform city residents of emergency events! It didn’t take long for the site to realize that its service could be used to benefit the community in a more organized way, so they decided to launch the Twitter Alerts program.

It was specifically created for emergency organizations, so that they could keep followers updated on the latest news – whether it’s the flu going around, a natural disaster creeping close, or a city-wide alert. The emergency tweets will be different from unimportant tweets by displaying a tiny orange bell icon.

If someone really wants to know what’s going on every second, they can sign up  to have emergency tweets. “In addition to getting distributed directly to your subscribers’ phones, Twitter Alerts are designed to draw attention, standing out from other Tweets on your followers’ Timelines and across and the Twitter mobile apps,” the company explained on its new Alerts site.

Some of the organizations on board for the Twitter Alerts program include the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Since neighbors and friends so often update loved ones during disasters using social media, it’s only natural that Twitter’s coming out with a formal way to do it!

Images courtesy of Twitter.