Facebook’s New Disaster Response Feature
by Lisa Jany-Escalera // @lisaveronikaj
As if Facebook didn’t already have a million handy tools available, like checking in post disaster to ensure that your friends and family know that you are safe in the wake of a tragic event, the California-based social media site has expanded its available features during a crisis.
On Thursday, Facebook introduced its new addition “Community Help”at the Social Good Forum that took place in New York. The new tool will help users connect with other users in the community who are searching for food, shelter, supplies or aid during a disaster.
A beta version of Community Help will be launched next month for a month-long trial period, and its official version will be released at the beginning of the new year. The tool will appear once a user has checked in with Facebook’s safety feature. Once the person has “checked” themselves in as being safe from the happenings, a stream of other statuses will appear of other users in the area who did the same. The person will be able to click the “Find Help” option and post their needs (like food, transportation or any sort of supplies.) Any user that can offer these items will be able to reply to these requests, and so the community is able to further communicate.
Prior to this new feature, Facebook members have already turned to the social media site when they needed aid, by creating Community Help, the site has simply made the step in search for aid easier. Additionally, Community Help will be prompted by the community, not the company since they are more likely to be informed about the scene.
So next there is a disaster (and hopefully not any time soon) keep this in mind! Facebook is more than just for silly memes and videos.