Facebook is launching a new feature called Safety Check. It allows users to mark themselves as “safe” if they happen to be in an area affected by a natural disaster. The feature came out of work that the Facebook engineers did after the Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Safety Check will become available to all the social network’s users and will be accessible through the mobile app, even on the low-end feature phones which most of the developing world is still using.
If a user has activated Safety Check and happens to be in a disaster area, let’s say an earthquake-hit region, the app will notify him or her asking if he’s safe. The user can then respond by saying that he is or by saying that he’s not in the affected area. Obviously, there’s no option for “no, I’m not safe”.
Hopefully efforts like these will help in times when they're most needed, as clear communication is one of the most important things needed in the event of a disaster.