Facebook Announces New ‘Safety Check’ Feature to Help Communicate During Disasters
Facebook has introduced Safety Check, a brand new feature that people can use when major disasters occur, a simple and effective way to say you’re safe and check on others during times when communication becomes a necessity. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this feature in Tokyo, in lieu of the great earthquake and Tsunami that hit Japan a few years ago. The calamity inspired Facebook to build the first version of this feature for Japan, and now this feature is available worldwide.
During a disaster, the Safety Check feature helps users to inform their friends and family that they are safe, users can also check on others in the affected region and can even mark their friends as safe.
How does it work?
The safety feature works when it is activated after a natural disaster has occurred and if a user is in the vicinity of the affected area, he/she will receive a Facebook notification asking if they’re safe. Facebook will then automatically determine their location by the user’s last location and the city where the user is using the Internet.
If Facebook determines the wrong location, users can mark that they are outside the vicinity of the affected area. Meanwhile if they are safe, they can select ‘I am safe’ and a notification and a News Feed story will generate automatically with the user’s friends. Even friends can mark a user as safe.
Even if users have friends in the affected area and the tool has been activated, they will receive a notification about those friends that have marked themselves as safe. To understand the features better, check out the video below: