Facebook Crisis Response feature helps during Durban floods

Would you tweet or log on to Facebook during a natural disaster? Well, it might not be a bad idea after all. Last month Facebook launched Crisis Response feature on its site which is a central safety hub for Facebook users. It can be used to find information about recent crises, use Safety Check to connect with friends and loved ones during a crisis, give or find help to people in the affected area. This feature has come in handy during the recent floods in Durban where people were displaced and emergency teams couldn’t reach them. The feature allowed Facebook users to alert their families that they are safe. This is definitely one of the positive effects of social media and if more people are aware of it, it can possibly save lives.

How does it work?

The Safety Check feature is automatically activated whenever Facebook receives a reported incident about natural disasters like an earthquake, hurricane or any crisis where people might be in danger. If a lot of people in the affected area are posting about it, Safety Check will be activated and the people will receive a notification about it. Once you receive a notification of the safety check you will be able to mark yourself safe by clicking “I’m safe” button and the nice thing about it is that you can also search your friends if they have been marked safe.

If the Safety Check feature is not activated automatically, you can go to the Facebook tabs section on the app, scroll down until you find a green icon button “Crisis Response” and you will be able to mark yourself safe. Another nice feature of the Crisis Response is that you can offer help or find help with transportation, safety shelter, food etc depending on what is offered. To find help, you need visit the Crisis Response page as mentioned above and look for the help tab, there you will  find categories of help such a transport, then you can comment on the post or message the person offering help, however, if you don’t find what you looking for, you can create a post to let people know what you need. To find out more information about the Crisis feature please visit their Facebook page link here.

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