Local governments will soon be able to use Facebook to send out emergency alerts through Facebook. For governments and local authorities around the world, connecting with people via social media is a general practice. Governments and their representatives often use social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook to share their achievements, initiatives and more. Now, Facebook is readying a whole new tool that can make its platform available as a channel for local governments to send out emergency alerts.
Facebook announced that it is letting local governments in the US exercise an ability to send out emergency alerts to their communities. Facebook already offers a Safety Check and Community Help tools that let users offer and find help during an emergency crisis. Emergency alerts tools should come as an addition to some of Facebook's similar tools and services. Facebook is rolling out access to local alerts to eligible Facebook pages in the US by the end of 2019.
"People are more connected than ever yet at times it can be harder to reach everyone in the community during emergencies. Local alerts help the County of Riverside reach more people with our messages. Combined with other alerts we send, Facebook’s local alerts is a great tool to help us deliver vital information to people who need it most," said Shane Reichardt at RivCoReady, a government organisation in Riverside, California.
"One of the most important aspects of our jobs as local government communicators is the work we do to keep our residents and their families safe. From distributing information related to emergency weather situations, to engaging the public in active missing persons search efforts, Facebook’s local alerts function has become a key part of our agency’s social strategy. Facebook is where our residents are, there’s no questioning that, and local alerts have significantly strengthened our communication efforts via the platform by providing enhanced credibility to our messaging," said Austin Ellington at Round Rock, Texas -- City Government
Facebook said it would start opening up access to alerts to eligible Facebook pages by the end of this year. Eligible Facebook pages include those that belong to a city or county government, local emergency management or fire department or local law enforcement in the US. Facebook did not say for sure if it has plans to expand local alerts to more countries. To receive local alerts on Facebook, make sure you follow relevant Facebook pages once the feature goes live.