Twitter Emergency Alerts Lands Down Under

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By Athena Yenko | December 18, 2013 2:45 PM EST

Twitter launches Twitter Alerts in Australia on Dec 17, 2013.

Twitter Alerts is a new system which is instrumental for different emergency bodies, like police and fire rescue services, to deliver pertinent information to guide people into safety during disaster and emergencies.

To date, different Australian organisations had already signed up to Twitter Alerts, believing that the system will be of great importance to a successful rescue and relief during times of calamity or catastrophe.

The following emergency bodies had already signed up for Twitter Alerts the very same day that the new system was launched in the country.

  • The NSW Rural Fire Service
  • NSW Police
  • Victorian Police
  • Queensland Police
  • Western Australia Police
  • South Australian Police
  • Australian Government's travel advisory
  • The Department of Health
  • Fire & Rescue NSW
  • Country Fire Service South Australia
  • The City of Brisbane
  • The City of Sydney
  • The Australian Red Cross

"We have made this service available because it's important for our users to be able to receive reliable information during times of immediate crisis. All of the organisations participating in today's launch already use Twitter as a tool to communicate important information to their followers. The added functionality of Twitter Alerts will help them reach their followers with fast, credible and accurate information during emergencies, natural disasters or when other communications services aren't accessible," Danny Keens, director of Media Partnerships, Twitter Australia stated in its Web site.

"Organisations will be able to share critical information with their followers by marking Tweets as 'alerts' which will feature an orange bell for added visibility. Participating organisations will choose for themselves what information merits a Twitter Alert designation; this feature is only intended for crisis, disaster and emergency communications," Mr Keens added.

How To:

  • Users should sign up to receive alerts to an organisation of their choice. Users have the option to have Twitter Alerts delivered as SMS directly to their mobile phones. Those using iphone or Android have the option to use push notifications instead of SMS alerts.
  • To subscribe to these notifications, Twitter users can go directly to an account's alert set-up page at[username]/alerts using a desktop/laptop PC or iOS and Android mobile device.

Australian officials from different governmental initiations were one in saying that Twitter was instrumental in spreading relevant information during disasters that happened in Australia recently, including bushfires, the January 2011 floods and more recently the 2013 Australia Day storms.

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