Federal Agencies Join Twitter Public Safety Alerts Program

SocialMediaTwitter has launched a new feature to help government agencies and emergency responders alert people about natural disasters and other public safety events.

The departments of Interior and State Department, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Geological Survey are among the participants in the alerts program, according to a Twitter blog post by Bridget Coyne.

Coyne writes Twitter users who subscribe will receive safety notifications via text messages.

“Today we have a two-way street — residents are informed about hazards in real time and emergency managers receive immediate feedback on the consequences of a disaster,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said.

Participating organizations can send out warnings for imminent dangers, preventive instructions, evacuation directions and transit availability, Coyne writes.

Agencies used Twitter to disseminate information during Hurricane Sandy, Boston Marathon bombings and Japan tsunami.

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