Facebook Warning Messages – level 3
Facebook has been testing an emergency alert tool since early 2018, and they are rolling it out across the USA by the end of the year.
The tool can send alerts to the top of users’ feed in cases of emergency. Local authorities can also choose specific users in affected counties, cities or even neighborhoods.
Facebook says that local governments have already used the tool to send alerts during Hurricane Barry when somebody went missing or when there was a gas leak. In Facebook’s own survey of 2,000 users, 73% of the users learned something new, and 43% took action after seeing the alert.
However, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says that people should not rely only on their smartphones. Every home should have a weather radio because its batteries last longer, and some models have solar panels or a hand crank. For example, it took 11 months to fully restore electricity in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria struck two years ago.
Difficult words: alert (a warning), authorities (the people in a position of power), hand crank (a piece of the radio which you turn to make electricity for the radio).
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