Facebook and Nextdoor’s Emergency Alerts
Facebook and Nextdoor are two of the largest leaders in public communication, so it was no surprise they entered the emergency alert space as well. Facebook’s Local Alerts and Nextdoor’s Urgent/Emergency Alerts make it even easier for public agencies to enhance the reach of their emergency messaging.
Local Alerts allow verified agency Pages to mark posts as “local alerts” or “voting alerts.” Facebook will enhance those posts’ reach by sending notifications to people living in affected areas. The local alert will also appear in the user’s News Feed.
Page managers will have the option to send the alert to Facebook users within a city, county or chosen radius (minimum of 1 mile). Notifications will not be sent to people who are living outside of that city, county or state.
Currently, only certain entities are able to post local alerts: local governments, public health agencies, first responders, state election authorities and local election authorities. Facebook also warns Page managers to use local alerts sparingly.
Facebook will place a local alert indicator (⚠️) for all Page Followers to see on the News Feed. Page managers can set the alert duration up to 24 hours. This alert indicator will disappear after the set amount of time has elapsed, but the post will otherwise remain available. The alert can be specified as any of the following types:
- Local Alert (Default)
- Missing Person Alert
- Public Safety Alert
- Service Interruption Alert
- Transit Alert
- Weather Alert
Nextdoor alerts include two variations: Urgent Alerts and Emergency Alerts.
Urgent alerts – For use by Nextdoor members in their Neighborhoods
- A special type of post that reaches fellow Neighborhood members immediately via in-app notification, text message and email.
- Intended for time-sensitive and important information, such as: criminal activity, missing children, fires, floods, other disasters and local evacuations.
- Your initial message is limited to 110 characters. You can add more details later by replying.
- It will only be posted to your immediate neighborhood. Nearby neighborhoods will not see your urgent alert.
Emergency Alerts – For use by Agency accounts for multiple Neighborhoods or entire Service Areas
- A special type of post available to public agencies that will reach members immediately via text message (SMS), in-app notification and email.
- Intended for rare and very time-sensitive information that affects a large number of people, such as: severe weather events, unplanned road closures, missing persons or immediate threat to life/property.
- Only the first 110 characters will be included in the text message. You can also attach images.
- You can choose whether or not you want your residents to be able to reply to your emergency alerts. Replies are permitted via Nextdoor.com or the Nextdoor mobile app.
- Nextdoor users can opt out of receiving emergency alerts from their local Agency accounts.
Contact us to start leveraging Facebook’s and Nextdoor’s emergency tools for your public agency. The Tripepi Smith team is ready to help.