A new Twitter service allows government agencies and non-governmental organizations to send emergency messages directly to users' phones during natural disasters or times of crisis. The news was announced by the company today.
Users who sign up for the service called “Twitter Alerts” will receive “important information” via a text message or notification when an organization sees the need for submission as a matter of survival.
More than 60 organizations have signed up for the new system, including the emergency management departments of Louisiana, Florida, New York and Colorado, as well as the American Red Cross and FEMA, Twitter said. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department have already signed up. There was no registration for other countries.
Users can customize which organizations they want to receive alerts from through the service's setup menu.
The warning system follows the success achieved during Superstorm Sandy and the Boston bombing, both in the United States, when alert notifications were issued quickly and safely.