It’s quite natural to get desperate to communicate with friends and family when you are in a disaster zone unfortunately. Similarly, people who care for you would want to know if you are safe during such times. Facebook has stepped up to help people in such situations.

Facebook Safety Check helps people communicate during disasters

Facebook Safety Check helps people communicate during disasters

The new Safety Check feature introduced by Facebook asks the user if they are okay during natural disasters. The feature tries to determine the location of the user and if it looks like they are in a disaster area, it asks them if they are safe. If the user is safe, they can let others know by clicking or tapping on the “I’m Safe” button.

Similarly, when a friend says they are safe, Facebook notifies his connections of it and also lets users check the list of friends who might be affected by the disaster. When a user is detected in a hazardous area or enters a hazardous area, a push notification is issued to them. The location of the user is determined from the places marked in their profiles, the last location entered on Nearby Friends, and the city from where the user is connecting to the internet.

The feature is specially designed by Facebook to let people be at ease by tapping just a button and letting their friends know that they are safe instead of them having to type a status message in order to do so during a disaster, which might result in unnecessary waste of time. The feature was rolled out to Japanese users by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday. The company chose Japan for the initial roll out as the country is still recovering from the Tsunami in 2011.

Naomi Gleit, Vice President of product management at Facebook said, “Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster. They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others.”