Facebook is introducing a new feature called Safety Check that asks you if you’re okay during major disasters and helps you connect with friends and loved ones caught up in them.
Here’s how it works:
Check notifications – If it looks like you may be near a natural disaster, Facebook will ask if you’re safe.
Say you’re safe – If you’re OK, click or tap the “I’m Safe” button to let friends and loved ones know right away.
Check on others – Facebook will let you know when friends say they’re safe. You can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster.
The new tool works by sending push notifications to your device if you’re in a hazardous area, determining you location through cities listed in profiles, last locations on Nearby Friends and the city you’re connecting to the internet from.
It’s designed to make putting people’s minds as easy as tapping one button rather than trying to post a status mid-disaster.
Safety Check was launced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg in Japan yesterday, which is still recovering from 2011’s tsunami.
“Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster,” said Naomi Gleit, vice president of product management at Facebook.
“They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others.”
Safety Check will be available across iOS, Androird, feature phones and desktop.