Local Governments Leverage Facebook Local Alerts To Keep Residents Informed And Safe During Emergencies

California has become synonymous with deadly wildfires raging across the state. One of the issues facing municipalities is how to keep their residents safe and informed during emergencies like these.

Long Beach City and Riverside County are just two of several agencies leveraging Facebook’s Local Alerts service to quickly reach residents during emergencies by sharing real-time alerts including:

  • Missing person reports
  • Criminal activity and requests for help identifying suspects
  • Road closures
  • Transportation disruptions
  • Responses to major issues impacting the community.
  • Flash flood warnings
  • Evacuation Orders
  • Planned power outages
  • Evacuation warnings.

The Facebook Local Alerts tool allows government agencies to mark their emergency posts as a “local alert,” notifying their Page Followers with urgent information during emergencies to help keep residents out of harm’s way.

Once a post is marked, a notification is sent to Page Followers living in the affected areas. The alert is able to be viewed on all Page Followers’ News Feeds and the post will appear in Facebook’s “Today In,” providing local Facebook users with the most up-to-date local news and community information. Page followers are then able to re-share this information on their own pages, further amplifying the message within the community and helping residents to prepare and respond.

With access to this new tool, Riverside County was able to alert residents quickly during last year’s flash floods caused by the Holy Fire, allowing them to prepare ahead of any evacuation orders and to gather their belongings and important documents. Long Beach residents have been able to prepare ahead of traffic closures and transportation disruptions that may affect their commutes, and the City has been able to further engage the community in solving crimes, missing person cases, and identifying suspects.

“Local alerts are a useful tool for California authorities up and down the state to communicate and amplify urgent information to their communities,” said Javier Hernandez, Government Outreach Associate at Facebook. “We are enthusiastic that Local Alerts further Facebook's mission to build communities and provide a purposeful platform for local governments and first responders to protect residents in the Golden State."

You can learn more about Local Alerts here.