How Local and Federal Authorities Are Already Putting Twitter Alerts to Work

Illustration of a smartphone receiving a push notification for a Twitter alert

Illustration of a smartphone receiving a push notification for a Twitter alertTwitter recently unveiled an alerts system that can be used by certain organizations to make critical announcements to the public. People can subscribe to alerts within their timelines, as push notifications on Android and iOS devices, and as SMS notifications. Just two weeks into the new Alerts program, several local and federal authorities have already begun putting Twitter Alerts to work, Twitter announced on its blog.


Incident on Capitol Hill

When news of a shooting and runaway car broke and the “shelter in place” order was issued, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, responsible for safety at the U.S. Senate, pushed a Twitter alert notifying users on where seek shelter, which streets were closed, and followup information about the investigation:

For those subscribed to Alerts from the Senate Sergeant at Arms via SMS, their Alerts looked something like this:

Twitter Alerts via SMS notifications for the Senate Sergeant at Arms


AMBER Alert in New York City

New York City’s Office of Emergency Management used Twitter Alerts to issue an AMBER Alert, a system in place for notifying the public of an abducted child:


Federal Government Shutdown

When the U.S. government shutdown went into effect, the Department of Interior announced that national parks would be closed:


Tornado Watch in New Jersey

As tornadoes worked their way up the East Coast earlier this week, New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management alerted users of the potential for tornadoes throughout the state:

To subscribe to Twitter Alerts, first look for the orange Alerts bell icon in the left-hand column of a user’s Twitter account. This icon indicates a user is authorized to send Twitter Alerts. When you find the bell, click the “Be prepared” link to subscribe to Twitter Alerts by that organization. Here is a full list of authorized accounts.

Do you subscribe to any Twitter Alerts? If so, which ones?

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.

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