Twitter Launches Mobile Emergency Alerts

Twitter Emergency AlertsIn recent years, people have turned to Twitter for quick information about emergency situations, from Hurricane Sandy to the Boston Marathon bombings.

In the immediate aftermath, however, it’s tough to know what’s true and who to trust. Twitter is moving to change that today with Twitter Alerts, which will provide users with notifications about emergency situations from trusted sources.
“Twitter Alerts … brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information during emergencies, natural disasters or when other communications services aren’t accessible,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Twitter has partnered with dozens of organizations, including the American Red Cross, FEMA, the World Health Organization, and various state and local groups.

To subscribe to these alerts, visit the group’s alert page, which can be found by adding /alerts to the end of its Twitter address. The FEMA page, for example, is located at twitter.com/fema/alerts. There, you click the “Activate Alerts” button.

Twitter will ask you to enter your phone number to receive Twitter Alerts via text, at which point you will need to send a confirmation text. Then, when the organization sends an alert, you will receive a text message. Those using the Twitter iOS and Android apps (iOS 5.1+ and Android 4.1.6+) will also get push notifications. Meanwhile, tweets from the group will be designated with an orange bell in your feed. You can stop the alerts by texting “stop” to the confirmation number, or by unchecking “Tweet Alerts” under Mobile in your settings.

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