Twitter Buttons

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Social Media Emergency Messages: New Twitter Alerts For Government Social Media Emergency Messages #SMEM

Government Social Media Update: - Government Social Media Emergency Twitter Alerts

How alerts work
Twitter Alerts appear on subscribers’ phones as push and/or SMS notifications when authoritative accounts mark Tweets as alerts. Alerts appear differently on your home timeline from regular Tweets; they are indicated with an orange bell.
Who can participate
The Twitter Alerts program is available to local, national and international institutions that provide critical information to the general public. The following have priority access to this feature:
  • law enforcement and public safety agencies;
  • emergency management agencies;
  • city and municipal governments, as well as their agencies and representatives;
  • county and regional agencies, providing services to cities and municipalities;
  • and select state, federal, and national agencies and NGOs.
If you believe that your organization qualifies for the Twitter Alerts program, please complete our enrollment form. Currently, more than 100 participating NGOs and government agencies in the U.S., Japan and Korea can send alerts. We will expand the service to include more organizations around the world.
When to use alertsWhile participating organizations can determine what information merits a Twitter Alerts designation, the feature is intended for crisis, disaster and emergency communications, such as:
  • warnings for imminent dangers
  • preventive instructions
  • evacuation directions
  • urgent safety alerts
  • information on access to essential resources
  • information on critical transit and utility outages
  • crowd and misinformation management
When should you send a Twitter Alert?
Twitter Alerts are intended for crisis, disaster, and emergency communications in the categories below. Examples of when you may want to send a Twitter Alert include:
  • Natural disaster and severe weather: A disaster in which the proximate cause is a natural hazard.
  • Biological incident: Naturally occurring or man-made biological diseases (communicable and non-communicable) that can cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants.
  • Chemical or hazardous materials emergencies: An emergency involving the intentional or unintentional release of a chemical or hazardous material (e.g. oil) that poses a threat to public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • Nuclear or radiological incident: Release of radioactive material that poses an actual or perceived hazard to public health, safety, national security, or the environment.
  • Explosion: Explosion or blast that can produce numerous casualties with complex, technically challenging injuries.
  • Food and agricultural incident: Notification of threats to public health, animal health, food production, aquaculture, livestock production, wildlife, soils, rangelands, and agricultural water supplies.
  • Cyber incident: Cyber-related incident of potential or actual large-scale and negative significance.
  • Terrorism incident: A threatened or actual terrorist incident.
  • Crime: Incidents of criminal activity that place the public in life-threatening harm and require immediate police, fire, or emergency medical services.
  • Major transportation incident: Severe disruptions of transportation arteries, infrastructure, or services.
Twitter released a new best practices guide, part of which covers advice for government agencies using Twitter.
New Twitter Alerts. The value of this new alert feature is that your tweets can appear on subscribers’ phones as SMS notifications when you mark the tweets as an ‘alert’. They will stand out in the timeline as well – marked with an orange bell.
“Alerts are a recent addition to Twitter. This feature provides vital information to the public during fast-moving situations or emergencies. When other communication services are down or can’t be accessed, Twitter Alerts give organizations and people another way to broadcast messages about public safety, accessibility and natural disasters.”
Many government agencies are invited to participate in the Twitter Alert service. I encourage every city, county and law enforcement agency to enroll. View the Alerts page to fill out Twitter’s enrollment form.
Examples of appropriate Twitter Alert content include warnings for imminent dangers, preventive instructions, evacuation directions, urgent safety alerts, information on access to essential resources, information on critical transit and utility outages, and crowd and misinformation management.
Remember, Twitter is a complementary channel to distribute critical information. It should not replace other emergency notification systems.
Frequently asked questions
What are Twitter Alerts?
Twitter Alerts leverage the public, real-time and wide-distribution capabilities of our social broadcast network to enable fast and easy dissemination of vital, time-sensitive information. Any Twitter user can set up and start receiving alerts.
The new feature is available in public beta, free of charge, and is limited to select organizations that are enrolled in the Twitter Alerts program. 
Note: While Twitter Alerts can help convey your urgent messages, it does not replace official emergency notification systems or services. Twitter Alerts should be used as a complementary channel of information.
Which types of organizations can enroll in the Twitter Alerts program?
For criteria on enrolling in the Twitter Alerts program, please refer to the first section of our guidelines. (See above.)
I believe my organization qualifies for the Twitter Alerts program. How do I enroll?
Please complete our enrollment request form.
What happens after I submit my interest in enrolling in Twitter Alerts?
If your organization qualifies for enrollment, we will contact you for more information. When participation in the program has been confirmed, you must first increase the security of your organization’s Twitter account and agree to abide by our guidelines (above) before access to the Twitter Alerts feature and functionality may be granted.
Note: We’re just getting started. Although we aim to make Twitter Alerts available to as many qualifying organizations around the world as we can, we may not be able to contact you immediately.
What happens when I compose and send a Twitter Alert?
Using Twitter Alerts on the web or from any of our mobile apps is easy. As a member of the program, you will see a unique Twitter Alerts icon on your Tweet composer. Tapping or clicking on this icon will automatically add “#alert” to the body of your Tweet, transforming it into a Twitter Alert.
Alerts will be delivered to your subscribers as a text message or push notification. Twitter Alerts will also display uniquely in your followers’ timelines, and elsewhere on and in our Android and iPhone apps.
How many Twitter Alerts can my organization send?
The number of Twitter Alerts that an individual user can receive per hour is limited. For this reason, you should only send your most urgent updates as alerts. However, it is important to note that as a member of the Twitter Alerts program you are exempt from our spam rate limits, and therefore able to tweet organically without limitations; you can send regular, non-alert Tweets as often as a crisis situation might require.
How do I know how many people have subscribed to receive my organizations’ alerts?
While logged into your organization’s Twitter account, visit your Twitter Alerts URL — i.e., You’ll be able to see an up-to-date count of your Twitter Alerts subscribers here.
To build your subscriber base, we encourage you to highlight your participation in the program and direct as many of your constituents as possible to your Twitter Alerts URL. From there, it will be easy for people to activate Twitter Alerts on their mobile devices and ready to receive your alerts in times of crisis.


Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags