WhatNow Service Toolkit


The WhatNow Service is a global platform of Red Cross and Red Crescent localized key messages on how individuals and households can prepare and respond to disasters. Developed by the Global Disaster Preparedness Center in partnership with Google, the WhatNow Service aimed to increase the speed and dissemination of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery messages. Red Cross / Red Crescent National Societies adapt IFRC Public Awareness and Public Education key action messages to their country context. These messages are hosted on the global WhatNow portal in the country’s primary languages. Partners, ranging from global networks like Google to in-country media companies, can access these WhatNow messages and broadcast them alongside public alerts already disseminated on their platforms. As a result, community members receive the RC/RC attributed messaging from many different communication channels and are more informed on how to safely prepare and respond in the face of the alerted disaster. 

WhatNow Service

The WhatNow Service combines innovation and localization, making it a people-centered early action tool. Information Communication Technologies are rapidly advancing, however, they are only effective if they incorporate the local knowledge that effectively incites early action in those at risk. The WhatNow Service is designed to overcome this challenge – it allows National Societies to reach communities with messaging tailored to their context, across many communication channels, all with the RC/RC National Society attribution that community members recognize and trust. 
The WhatNow Service includes alert messages for more than 20 hazards in 6 urgency levels: across preparedness, response, recovery. The portal provides information in 78 languages and is accessible via WhatNow API and Message Viewer. 
  • Expand hazard-specific key messaging.
  • Create a hub of messaging for their National Society and partners.
  • Reach unlimited communication channels at scale.
  • Prepare communities through multiple channels with harmonized messages. 

​For more information review the activity page, the portal and/or download the one-pager.

Implementation Process

The implementation process starts with the National Societies uploading their contextualized messages on to the global WhatNow Message Portal, which hosts all 192 National Societies’ localized WhatNow messages. Each National Society can provide the appropriated number of messages agreed with the official institutions in their communities and according to their local hazards. National Societies interested in customizing their messages may contact GDPC through the contact form below this page. 
Meanwhile, partners -ranging from global networks like Google to regional, national, and local media companies- can access to the API messages, signing up into the WhatNow portal to receive the messages through the open API and broadcast them alongside hazard alerts on their platforms. 
As a result, National Societies (HQ, branch offices, volunteers), partner organizations, and community members can view the WhatNow messages from many different communication channels, which help them to be more informed on how to safely prepare in the face of the alerted disaster. For better understanding how the alert messages works review the following video


Public awareness


The WhatNow Service is founded on IFRC’s Public Awareness and  Public Education (PAPE) key messages designed to help National Societies scale up their work in disaster risk reduction campaigning, partnerships, and education. The PAPE key messages cover more than 20 hazards, so each Red Cross/Red Crescent (RC/RC) National Societies can adapt these multi-hazard key action messages to their local risks, language and context to ensure consistency, clarity, and safety in their region.
According to the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC), harmonized messaging is a key goal in disaster reduction awareness, and is particularly important when it comes to scaling-up efforts to create a culture of safety. The implementation of early warning systems in a consensus of crucial stakeholders promote consistent actions to the public and reinforce the credibility, legitimacy and strong impact.  

WhatNow Service Use Case


Use Case information coming soon!


Related Topics

Disaster Preparedness, Early Warning Systems