USA.gov launches real-time alerts

The government's official Web portal added real-time alerts Tuesday, enabling the public to receive instant updates via e-mail or text message on a wide range of government information.

Notifications.USA.gov allows the public to get instant updates on everything from product recalls to natural disasters. There are more than 7,000 updates available covering 6,200 topics across 144 federal agencies and officers. Alerts can be delivered via e-mail, text or RSS feed.

“Whether it be food-safety recalls, weather warnings, or the latest information on government initiatives, the public’s need for information from their government continues to grow,” said David McClure, associate administrator of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

“By putting real-time notifications at citizens’ fingertips or in the palm of their hand, we have created a way for agencies to provide critical information that citizens want in ways that they want it.”

GSA conducted an unpublicized beta test of the service beginning in mid-August that generated 12,000 subscriptions across 74 of the participating agencies. The highest levels of public interest were in the areas of health, the economy, energy, education and agriculture. The announcement is a continuation of this summer's overhaul of the entire USA.gov platform.