Facebook Safety Check – Tool to Check Safety in Natural Disasters

Facebook has added a new feature “Safety Check” to help people in the critical time. You can inform your friends and family members that you are safe if you are in the area which became the victim of the natural disasters or any crisis.

Over 1.3 billion users log in every month using Facebook. This shows the power of this social networking site to reach and help people in trouble. You can let your friends and family know that you are safe using this tool. You can check for the other peoples’ status in the affected area and also can mark your friend as a safe using this feature. All these will not be displayed publicly. Only your Facebook friends will be able to see your safety status.

The idea behind the safety check feature

Naomi Gleit – VP of product management, Sharon Zeng – Product manager and Peter Cottle – Software engineer at Facebook has maintained about the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami in their official post. They observed that lots of people have used the internet and social media platforms to get in touch with their friends in affected areas. That has made them think over creating such product.

“Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster. They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others. They launched a test of the tool a year later and the response was overwhelming.” – Said Facebook

Each time when users were using Disaster Message Board that helped the Facebook team to understand how people use Facebook in crisis time and soon the Disaster Message Board project turned into “Safety Check”. It has very easy interface and will be available globally on iOS, Android other phones and on the desktop too.

How safety check works?

When the tool is active on your device; you will receive a Facebook notification asking whether you are safe or not after the natural disaster. Facebook will identify your location from the city you have listed in your profile or from your last check in locations where you have been.

If you are safe you need to select “I’m safe” option and notification, news feed story will be generated that can be seen only by your friends. If you have your friend in the affected area and he updates his status as a safe you will also get the notification about his status, so that you can also mark that friend as safe after the crisis. If Facebook gets your position incorrect and ask you about the safety status even if you are not at that location; you can simply select “I’m out of affected area”.

This is really a useful tool by the Facebook that will help people get the updates from the friends and get in touch with them in tough time.

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