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Facebook Safety Check Notifies Friends of Well-Being After Disaster

Image: Facebook Safety Check Notifies Friends of Well-Being After Disaster
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By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 03:17 PM

Facebook’s new Safety Check, launched Wednesday, will help people in areas struck by disasters let their loved ones know that they’re OK.

In a blog post, Facebook announced Safety Check, calling it "a simple and easy way to say you’re safe and check on others." The post says:

During a major disaster, Safety Check will help you:
• Let friends and family know you’re safe
• Check on others in the affected area
• Mark your friends as safe

Citing the example of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, when more than 12.5 million people were affected by the natural disaster, Facebook pointed out that friends and family outside the area tried frantically to contact their loved ones to check on their safety.

"Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster," the Facebook blog says. "They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others."

Inspired by that situation, Facebook created Safety Check, which is available on Android, iOS, feature phones, and desktop.

Should a natural disaster occur in an area, Facebook will send a notification to individuals in that area asking if they are safe. Location is determined by using the city listed in the user’s Facebook profile, the city where the person uses Internet, or, if the person has logged into an area with another app, that location will be used.

There will be the option of marking that you’re outside the affected area if the location is wrong. Otherwise, you can choose "I'm Safe" and a notification and News Feed story will be automatically generated.

Friends can also mark someone as safe.

In 2011, Facebook worked with organizations like the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Administration to offer tips on communicating after disasters.

Those tips for staying tech-savvy during disasters included using Red Cross apps to find shelters to access emergency first aid and CPR. FEMA also has a smartphone app.

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Facebook's new Safety Check, launched Wednesday, will help people in areas struck by disasters let their loved ones know that they're OK.
facebook, safety, check
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2014-17-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 03:17 PM
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