Facebook’s Emergency Management Tools

Facebook has two tools that Emergency Management staff may find very useful in a disaster or emergency. 

Local Alerts

The “Local Alerts” tool is a subset of the “Today In” section of Facebook. “Today In” is a part of Facebook that provides notifications about local information and events to Facebook users.  The “Local Alerts” tool is an enhancement that Facebook is providing to local Government, First Responders, and Emergency Managers.  The tool amplifies alerts from an organization which increases the number of Facebook users in the local area that will see the post in their feeds.  “Local Alerts” is designed to help keep people in their communities safe and in the know.

To use “Local Alerts” an organization must apply in advance for the program.  Click here for the sign-up form.  Once accepted into the program the organization’s social media manager can send alerts by logging into the organization’s Facebook account.  They can then navigate to an alert section and specify the type of alert they wish to send. They can also target their alert to people in particular counties, cities, towns, or neighborhoods.  Follow-up messages and updates can also be sent.  Click here to see the Facebook Guidelines for Local Alerts.

“Users who have been getting the local alerts are finding this information helpful, Facebook said. The company surveyed about 2,000 people who saw posts marked as local alerts, and 80% said the posts were at least somewhat valuable. About 43% took action after they saw a local alert, according to the survey.”1



The “Safety Check” feature is a part of the Facebook Crisis Alert tool and is now turned on for all Facebook users.  The feature can be used to send a message to Facebook users in areas of immediate danger, allowing people to notify friends and family that they are alive and well.  This could be an excellent tool for healthcare staff to let their family and friends know they are safe and for them to know that their family and friends are safe.  Providing a means for critical staff to check the safety of loved ones could be a critical part of an organization’s strategy to retain critical staff during an emergency or disaster.

The Crisis Response tool also provides information about local and worldwide disasters so you can stay informed and provides ways to request and provide help in a disaster.  Click here to find out more about the Facebook Crisis Response Tool.

Additional Resources

1. Facebook expands local emergency alerts in the US


CNet Website, Article By Wong, Queenie August 27, 2019


2. Facebook turns Safety Check over to its users


CNet Website, Article By: Ng, Alfred November 17, 2016


Facebook “Today In” local information alerting tool overview



Locations available for Facebook Local Alerts



Facebook Crisis Response Tool Overview