Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has once again stepped forward to assure the safety of victims and survivors of the areas hit by Typhoon Ruby. The impact of the typhoon has been mainly in the Philippines and the countries surrounding it. Facebook’s Safety Check feature is available globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktop.
How the tool works
Through the Safety Check tool, users can send information regarding their safety to their friends and family. Also they can use the tool for marking their friends as safe. The Safety Check tool is considered to be an effective tool for communicating with victims and staying connected whenever a disaster like Ruby takes place.
All that a user needs to do is get the Safety Check tool activated. This will help in determining the location of the user based on the location listed on his or her profile. If the user has opted in for the Nearby Friends feature, his or her last location could be traced, along with the city where they are using the internet.
In case the location detected by the software is not appropriate, the user can then mark that he or she is not present in the affected area. The user can select “I’m Safe” if he or she is safe at their current location, and this will lead to a notification and a News Feed story with an update.
What inspired Facebook?
Facebook users’ friends also have the option of marking them as safe. Additionally, the user in the affected area will get notifications about their friends’ location and safety if they have marked themselves as safe. Also a Safety Check bookmark becomes accessible when the user clicks on the notification, and a list of updates by friends can be seen there.
The need for such a tool was felt three years ago when Japan was severely hit by a tsunami and earthquake, which resulted in mass scale casualties and property damage, after which Facebook’s engineers came up with a plan to develop a tool that is not only simple but at the same time easy to use to connect family and friends at times when it is most important.