Twitter has announced Twitter Alerts, a new feature that keeps users updated with important information during times of crisis. 

Organizations like FEMA will be able to provide users with accurate information via Twitter during emergencies, natural disasters or times when other communications services aren't available. Users can sign up to receive an account's Twitter Alerts and will receive both push and SMS notifications whenever that account marks a tweet as an alert. Alerts viewed in the timeline will be highlighted with an orange bell so users can differentiate them from regular tweets.

Last year Twitter released a similar feature exclusively in Japan. Today, a number of organizations in the U.S., Japan and Korea have indicated they will be participating in the Twitter Alerts program.