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Twitter teams up with Red Cross Australia to keep Aussies safe in natural disasters

A new search function will make it easier for Twitter users to find disaster resources from the Red Cross  

With Twitter acting as an information lifeline for many in times of natural disaster, the social media platform is working with the Australian Red Cross to make it easier for users to find vital information. 

The natural disaster and emergency search prompt, launched at the end of December, directs Twitter users to Australian Red Cross resources and the organisation’s official Twitter account when they type in keywords including bushfire, flooding, and cyclone. 

Andrew Coghlan, Red Cross Australia’s head of disaster emergencies, told Pro Bono News that the update would help more Australians to safety, faster. 

“Staying up-to-date and having information about what to do during an emergency is extremely important,” Coghland said. 

“An initiative like this, where people are immediately connected to tips on how to prepare for a disaster, helps immensely, as do timely updates on floods, fires and cyclones – whether that be online, through local radio or any other means of communication.”  

He said that the information provided through the initiative would be “rightly” targeted at those affected by disaster rather than collecting donations.

“The information we provide must be relevant to those needs and those needs alone,” he said.    

Kara Hinesley, Twitter’s head of public policy Australia and New Zealand, said that during the 2019/20 summer bushfire crisis, many Australians turned to Twitter to seek information and fundraise. She said this update would only make it easier to do so.  

“It is another step towards making sure anyone in Australia can use Twitter to find out what’s happening from authoritative sources, and most importantly, can connect with emergency organisations when they need them most,” Hinesley said. 

“We hope this information will enable more people in Australia to stay up to date with rescue and relief efforts, get prepared for natural disasters, and help affected communities recover from crises.” 

Find more information about the new feature here. 

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