Twitter Alerts is now active for more than 12 emergency service organisations in Australia, allowing them to broadcast critical information in a crisis.
Following the launch of Alerts in the UK, US, Japan, Ireland and Korea earlier in the year, a number of Australian emergency services and public institutes will be able to deliver their own emergency updates via the social network. Users will be able to recognise these tweets because of the orange bell.
The services signed up for Twitter's Alerts service include NSW Police, City of Sydney, the Department of Health and the County Fire Service of South Australia. A full list of participating organisations and their Twitter handles can be found on the official blog post.
Twitter users can sign up to alerts from specific accounts by following the appropriate handle. For SMS or push notifications, users can go to the dedicated Alerts page at twitter.com/[username]/alerts for each account and select the appropriate option. For example, the NSW Police alerts page can be found at twitter.com/nswpolice/alerts.
"During the October bushfires, we saw more than 20 million impressions and 18,300 retweets of NSW RFS messages, and an incredible 470 million impressions of #nswfires on Twitter," said Rob Rogers, deputy commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service. "Twitter Alerts gives us another way of delivering important safety information, directly to people when they need it most."