Facebook announced Thursday the launch of a “Safety check” tool to notify friends and family in natural disasters.
The tool will will let friends and family know you’re safe in the midst of crisis, check on others in the affected area and show which of your friends are safe, the World’s biggest social network said in a statement.
“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, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said.
Facebook said that the tool is activated after a natural disaster, and if you’re in the affected area, you’ll receive a Facebook notification asking if you’re safe. The location will be determined by looking at the city you have listed in your profile, your last location noted by the network, and the city where you are using the Internet.
If the tool gets your location wrong, you can indicate that you’re outside the affected area. If you’re safe, you can select the “I’m Safe” prompt and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update.
The tool was conceived in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami crisis, which affected millions of people. Facebook engineers ran a test of the tool in 2012 and the response was overwhelming, the company said.
“Safety Check”, which will be available globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and the computer desktop.