It has become common in times of disaster or crisis for people to go to Facebook and check on loved ones and receive updates. This past week Facebook announced a new tool called Safety Check that will notify your friends and family so that they know you’re ok after a major disaster.
Facebook said the “2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which affected more than 12.5 million people, showed the need for such a feature….in times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones and get updates. It is in these moments that communication is most critical both for people in the affected areas and for their friends and families anxious for news.”
Here’s how Facebook Safety Check works:
When a natural disaster happens in your area, Facebook will send you a message asking if you’re ok. Facebook determines your city by your profile and if the city is wrong, you can easily mark that you’re not in the affected area.
If you’re ok, you can easily select a message saying “I’m safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update. In case you cannot access the internet, friends can also mark you as safe on your behalf.
If you have friends in the area of a natural disaster and the tool has been activated, you’ll get a notification about those who have marked themselves as safe. Clicking on the notification will take you to the Safety Check bookmark that will show a list of their updates.
Only friends will see a user’s safety status and the comments he or she shares about the situation. Safety Check will be available globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktop computers.
This blog was written by Matt Gregory. Matt is the Vice President of Operations for Media Connect Partners, LLC.