Facebook has added a new feature that will make it easier for people to check that friends are safe when caught up in natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.Safety Check will work on the social network’s mobile and desktop versions, including its Android and iOS apps.When someone’s within range of an unfolding natural disaster, they’ll get a notification from Facebook prompting them to tap a button to signify that they’re safe, or to say they’re not in the area.
The tool is designed to be activated after a natural disaster and by using either the city you lived in or your last location – if you have checked in on “Nearby Friends”, it let’s you alert your friends and family that you are safe, while also tracking the status of others.
“In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones and get updates,” wrote the company in a blog post about the feature. “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”.“Each time, we see people, relief organisations and first responders turn to Facebook in the aftermath of a major natural disaster,” explained the blog post.
In disaster situation, this tool offers you a simple but an effective way to notify your family and friends about your situation by just clicking on a simple I’m safe / I’m not option, which will push a notification and news feed story that is visible only to people on your friends list.If you have activated the tool, you will also receive a notification about friends who have marked themselves as safe too.
“If you’re ever in a situation that would require you to use Safety Check, we hope it’s a tool that helps you stay connected to those you care about, and gives you the comfort of knowing your loved ones are safe.”