The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced that its new crisis response IT system is now live and operational.
The new system, the Crisis Hub, is designed to enable Britons affected by a crisis overseas to ask for help more easily. It replaces an IT system that was deemed to be outdated.
Foreign secretary William Hague said: “The review into the FCO’s response to the multiple crises of 2011 highlighted that our crisis IT system, LOCATE, did not provide a platform suitable for the 21st century. I therefore made a commitment that the FCO would introduce a new crisis IT system for British nationals affected by crises overseas.”
The Crisis Hub allows Brits to phone the FCO’s crisis hotline, send a text message, complete a form online or speak to a member of the department’s crisis team on the ground.
Most recently, it was used to help Brits in the aftermath of the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
“It was a highly effective part of the government response, giving our crisis teams around the world access to the same information,” Hague said.
In addition to the Crisis Hub, people can also sign up to receive free, country-specific travel advice alerts from the FCO via email or social media.
The FCO is one of the UK emergency services that has signed up to the Twitter alerts service, which allows registered Twitter users to receive notifications from credible organisations in the event of a national crisis.