Alerts & Notifications

Facebook Now Offering Alerting in Emergencies

Facebook has added Safety Check, a way for people to quickly communicate their status in an emergency.

by Rick Wimberly / November 3, 2014

Add Facebook to the big social media companies getting into emergency alerting. It's introduced a solution called Safety Check. The approach is a bit different from mass emergency alerting. It's more of a well-being alert. During a big emergency, Facebook members can quickly spread their status to their social networks.

Twitter earlier introduced the Twitter Alerts solution. It's more like typical emergency alerting; public safety and other organizations involved in emergencies can send messages to Twitter followers who sign up to receive the alerts. (See article here.)

And Google has its Google Public Alerts offering. By going here, you can see emergency alerts from around the world displayed on a map. Clicking the map points take you to information regarding the emergency.

It's most encouraging seeing the new alerting opportunities developing, most made possible by development, then FEMA's adoption, of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). CAP was developed by a multi-disciplined group after much debate. Then the protocol was given legs when FEMA said it would use CAP.  

Gone are the days when alerting meant the Emergency Alert System and sirens. Many more channels are now available, adding to the complexity of alerting. But, wow, there's lots of cool stuff going on. By the way, I'm preparing a feature article for Emergency Management on new alerting channels. Your input is welcomed. Please email me at