Facebook introduces Safety Check to help during disasters

Posted on October 17, 2014


A new social media feature will allow its users to easily see that their friends are safe during natural disasters such as tsunamis, flash floods and hurricanes.

The new Facebook Safety Check facility will be launched on the social platform’s desktop and mobile versions, including its apps on iOS and Android.

It works by prompting those who are potentially within the vicinity of a natural disaster to push a button, either confirming they are safe or not in the region affected.

By selecting the ‘I’m Safe’ option, the reply is then posted to the newsfeeds of the user’s Facebook friends.

Writing in a recent blog post, Facebook staff explained that the network will determine a user’s location through the city or town listed in their profile, as well as the current city in which they are connected to the Internet.

While people living in the somewhat geologically tame British Isles won’t likely be required to use the feature themselves, it will be of benefit to those with friends in other parts of the world that are heavily affected by natural disasters, such as Southwest Florida and the Gulf Coast of the US, as well as Southeast Asia and Australia.

According to Facebook, the feature was inspired by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan back in 2011, with the company’s Japanese engineers having already developed the Disaster Message Board in a bid to help people make contact.

This is not the first time that social networks have been used as part of the rescue and relief process. Firefighters in New South Wales, Australia, last year turned to Twitter when bushfires raged through the state. Emergency services used data on the network to alert locals of the most dangerous areas.

Richard is a Web Content Editor at Engage Web. He has had work published in a number of independent magazines and spends much of his spare time writing short stories.

0345 621 4321

Call Now Button

Who Engage Web has helped:

Ice Lolly Minuteman Press BUNZLGS1 UK The Underfloor Heating Store West Cheshire Athletic Club Thomas Cook MWB Business ExchangeWeb Media 360 D2 Architects Beacon Financial Training Steely ProductsBurlydam Garden Centre Asentiv BodyHQ Clever Vine Endeavour Mortgages Pro Networks Comm-Tech Wickers World Ascot Mortgages Top Teks
TEL: 0345 621 4321