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White House, The Weather Channel Partner on Emergency Information Plan

January 15, 2014
Veronica Garbutt/Getty Images

The White House announced a new initiative to use social media, including The Weather Channel properties, to communicate emergency information in times of natural disaster.

The White House and The Weather Channel have teamed up to help keep you safe and get the message out as quickly as possible about natural disasters.

The White House announced Wednesday that it’s launching a new initiative to use social media to report emergency information during disasters. The White House will begin using standardized hash tags, including #PowerLineDown, #NoFuel and #GotFuel, to report much-needed information. The Weather Channel was singled out by The White House for its involvement in the project.

The Weather Channel will publicize to its 100 million+ web visitors and TV viewers [the] new standardized hash tags developed by the White House.
Statement from The Executive Office of The President

The Weather Channel will publicize to its 100 million+ web visitors and TV viewers the new standardized hash tags developed by the White House, the announcement from the office of the president said.

Storm survivors, emergency personnel, and other first responders can use the hash tags to respond to disasters and storms in the quickest way possible.

(FOLLOW: The Weather Channel on Twitter and Facebook)

The Weather Channel says the system is a natural outgrowth of its original mission.

“Keeping the public safe and informed in times of weather emergencies has always been an important mission at The Weather Channel,” said Bryson Koehler, executive vice president and chief information officer at The Weather Company.

"The Weather Channel brand offers great scale to help disseminate this important information, reaching 100 million U.S. television households, 100 million monthly unique visitors on Web and more than 110 million app downloads on smartphones and tablets,” said Koehler.

In 2012, The Weather Channel began assigning social media hash tags and specific names to track winter storms. This system was created to help raise awareness of and increase emergency communication surrounding dangerous winter storms.

"With our reach across our powerful TV, web, mobile and social properties, we have already seen success in organizing the social conversation around hash tags such as for tropical storms named by the NWS and around our naming winter storms such as #Hercules and #Nemo," Koehler said. "Similarly, these new (White House) hash tags will help improve disaster response and recovery efforts in times of severe weather emergencies."

The Weather Channel also said it’s developing a new app to deliver hyperlocal weather content to users during times of weather emergencies. The app will include severe weather data like storm alerts, lightning data, and preparedness tips.

The new initiative includes not only The White House but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) as well.

MORE: Photos from Winter Storm Hercules

Hercules Satellite Image

Hercules Satellite Image

This image taken on January 3, 2014 by the Suomi NPP satellite shows the blanket of snow that stretches from the Midwest across to New England after a massive winter storm moved over the region on January 1-3, 2014. (Source: NASA/NOAA)

  • Hercules Satellite Image
  • MODIS Satellite Image Depicting Hercules' Snow
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