Social media is prevalent, all around the world. Every milestone in your life is almost always documented on Facebook, be it in pictures, text, video or even audio. Though some people do give too much information about their lives (we all know one of those), Facebook is undeniably the go-to place for sharing.
How about in times of natural disasters? The brilliant minds over at Facebook have come up with a way to use the platform for social good. Safety Check allows those near or in major disaster zones to let their friends and family know they are safe.
This innovative solution was inspired by the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. During that period, it was evident many turned to technology to get updates about their loved ones in the affected zones. Facebook’s engineers in Japan thus created the “Disaster Message Board” to facilitate communication at crucial times. The response was overwhelming.
The Disaster Message Board then became Safety Check, which will be available on many platforms. In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, wrote, “Safety Check is our way of helping our community during natural disasters and gives you an easy and simple way to say you’re safe and check on all your friends and family in one place.”
Safety Check works simply. Should you be in the affected area after a natural disaster, the tool will prompt you to check if you are safe. Facebook can check whether you are in the affected area by using its myriad of location services – check in, profile location, Nearby Friends etc.
If you are safe, simply tap on the button that will generate a News Feed story for you to let everyone know you are. The great thing about Safety Check is that you can also check on others in the area, and your friends can mark you as “safe”. This community caring spirit will surely be effective in the times of need.
Zuckerberg, replying to a query in the comments, said that the team is just starting with using Safety Check for natural disasters. However, it will expand to different types of issues over time. He also noted that there is a lot more to work on for Safety Check, and additional features to make it better.
Find out more about Safety Check here, or check out how it works below!