What is SafetyCheck?

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.

How is Facebook’s SafetyCheck different from other social media emergency alerts?

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.

How does social media emergency alerting work?

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.

What’s next for emergency alert systems and social media?

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 rick [dot] wimberly [at] galainsolutions.com.


This post was originally published in Emergency Management Magazine’s Alerts and Notifications blog authored by Galain President Rick Wimberly at Emergency Management Magazine.