In a move to reflect the fact that social media is the number one way we get our news and communicate with friends and family, Facebook is launching a tool called Safety Check that will let users notify others that they’re safe after a natural disaster.
Here’s how it works: When you log into Facebook after a disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, the site will use your last-known location, then send you a prompt asking if you’d like to let your friends know you’re safe. You can select either “I’m safe” or “I’m not in the area.” It’ll also allow your friends to mark you as “safe” if they’re in the affected area too. Facebook will also generate a feed listing of friends marked as “safe” in the area.
The new feature is based on a message board that Facebook developed during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, which turned into a place many users were turning to to alert others that they were safe at the time.
So yeah, now there’s another way to let your mom (who’s obviously on Facebook) know you’re A-OK if something bad happens.
Check out the video below for more info on the new tool.