Twitter Alerts for the UK and Ireland

Published:  19 November, 2013

As of Monday 18th November organisations can direct critical information to the right people at the right time with a dedicated Twitter programme.

57 accounts have signed up for the programme, including the UK’s 47 police forces, An Garda Síochána, the London Fire Brigade, the Mayor of London’s office, the Foreign Office, CEOP and the Environment Agency. A list of participating organisations can be found here and below.

As of yesterday, these organisations can highlight critical information to their Twitter followers by marking Tweets as alerts, which highlight a Tweet with an orange bell for added visibility.

Twitter users who sign up for an account’s Twitter Alerts will receive a notification directly to their phone via SMS. Users of Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android will also receive a push notification direct to their mobile. Here’s how an alert appears via SMS message and push notification:

To subscribe to these notifications, Twitter users can go directly to an account’s alert setup page at[username]/alerts. See the Metropolitan Police’s page at for an example:

While participating organisations choose what information merits a Twitter Alerts designation, this feature is intended for crisis, disaster and emergency communications.

Twitter in times of emergency

Last year Twitter announced Lifeline (a feature that helps Japanese users find emergency accounts during crises), and since then, the company has been working on a related feature for people around the world.

Twitter Alerts launched with a number of participating organisations in the US, Japan and Korea in September 2013. Since launching, the service has been used by international organisations to disseminate information during emergencies involving public safety, accessibility and bad weather.

For example, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, responsible for security and safety at the U.S. Senate, sent out a Twitter alert when news of a runaway car and shooting broke and a “shelter in place” order was issued.

UK and Ireland

All of the organisations participating in the launch are already using Twitter as a tool to communicate important information to their followers. The added functionality of Twitter Alerts will help them reach their followers with important and accurate information during emergencies, natural disasters or when other communications services aren’t accessible.

Commander David Martin, in charge of emergency planning for the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “Getting fast and accurate information to the public in a major incident or terrorist attack really could make a life-saving difference.

“Using social networking sites, including Twitter, gives us additional ways to talk directly to the public. Twitter Alerts means that our messages will stand out when it most matters.”

John Curtin, Head of Incident Management at the Environment Agency said: “Digital communications is enhancing the way we share warning information during an incident. During an incident such as flooding, we see significant spikes in related conversation.

“Twitter Alerts provide an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility and urgency of our most vital warning messages so that people can take action to protect themselves and their property.”

Rita Dexter, Deputy Commissioner for the London Fire Brigade, said: “People act on information shared on social media. During a major incident accurate, verified and frequent updates are essential.Twitter Alerts will help us communicate quickly during a significant emergency.”

*To receive Twitter Alerts as push notifications, you must be using Twitter for iPhone version 5.10 or higher, and Twitter for Android 4.1.6 or higher.

Participating organisations

Emergency services - UK

  • London Metropolitan Police
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • Dyfed Powys Police
  • Norfolk Police
  • Essex Police
  • Kent Police
  • Nottinghamshire Police
  • Surrey Police
  • Cheshire Police
  • Bedfordshire Police
  • Wiltshire Police
  • West Mercia Police
  • Cleveland Police
  • West Midlands Police
  • Hampshire Police
  • Merseyside Police
  • Dorset Police
  • North Yorkshire Police
  • Derbyshire Police
  • Staffordshire Police
  • Gloucestershire Police
  • Lincolnshire Police
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Police
  • Northamptonshire Police
  • Suffolk Police
  • Warwickshire Police
  • Devon & Cornwall Police
  • Northumbria Police
  • South Yorkshire Police
  • Cumbria Police
  • City Of London Police
  • Cambridgeshire Police
  • Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Sussex Police
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Durham Constabulary
  • Humberside Police
  • West Yorkshire Police
  • Lancashire Constabulary
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • Gwent Police
  • North Wales Police
  • South Wales Police
  • Police Scotland
  • National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • British Transport Police
  • London Fire Brigade
  • London Ambulance Service

Government organisations - UK

  • Environment Agency
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Foreign Office
  • Foreign Office - Travel advice
  • Mayor of London
  • Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

Charities - UK

  • British Red Cross


  • An Garda Síochána

United States - national

  • American Red Cross
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Land Management: National Interagency Fire Center
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: En Español
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service: Fire and Aviation
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • US Department of State
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • US Geological Survey
  • US Department of the Interior

US - regional

  • FEMA Region 1: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
  • FEMA Region 2: NJ, NY, PR, VI
  • FEMA Region 3: DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV
  • FEMA Region 4: AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN
  • FEMA Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI
  • FEMA Region 6: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
  • FEMA Region 7: IA, KS, MO, NE
  • FEMA Region 8: CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY
  • FEMA Region 9: AZ, CA, HI, NV, and the Pacific Islands
  • FEMA Region 10, Northwest: AK, OR, ID, WA


  • Alabama Emergency Management Agency


  • Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • American Red Cross: San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
  • American Red Cross: Silicon Valley Chapter


  • City of Colorado Springs
  • City of Colorado Springs Fire Department
  • City of Colorado Springs Police Department
  • Colorado Emergency Management: Fire Prevention and Control
  • Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
  • El Paso County Public Health

District of Columbia

  • United States Senate Sergeant at Arms Office


  • Miami Dade Fire Rescue Department
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management
  • Broward County


  • Georgia Emergency Management Agency


  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency


  • New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness


  • Maryland Emergency Management Agency


  • City of Boston
  • City of Boston Police Department
  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
  • Boston Children’s Hospital

New Jersey

  • New Jersey State Police
  • New Jersey Emergency Management Agency

New York

  • New York City Fire Department
  • New York City Office of Emergency Management
  • Notify NYC


  • City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

South Carolina

  • South Carolina Emergency Management Division


  • American Red Cross: Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

US Virgin Islands

  • Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Global non-profits

  • Ushahidi
  • Crowdmap
  • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • World Health Organization
  • World Health Organization: Europe
  • Pan-American Health Organization
  • Organización Panamericana de la Salud
  • Healthmap
  • Healthmap: Vaccine Finder
  • Healthmap: Flu Near You
  • Charity Water
  • ONE Campaign
  • Room to Read
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Skoll Foundation
  • Dell Social Innovation
  • Free the Children
  • Salvation Army
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • RED

  • Operation Florian

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