Facebook just rolled out a new feature designed to connect people in a time of crisis.
Facebook’s Safety Check feature makes it possible for users to let friends and family know that they’re safe after an incident has occurred in their area. Now, the social media giant is going one step further by letting those affected find help and supplies through the platform.
When people mark themselves safe in Facebook’s Safety Check feature, they will be presented with an option to find help. The new feature, called Community Help, allows people find resources such as food, shelter, transportation, and water via Facebook after Safety Check has been activated.
It will be put into affect for natural and accidental incidents, like building fires and earthquakes, and will debut in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Saudi Arabia for its first couple of weeks, according to Facebook.
Relying on the kindness of strangers of course comes with some safety concerns. Facebook is making it clear that it will push user education around safety by adding controls to report posts and respecting privacy by showing a wide circle of a person’s location, instead of an actual pin. Community Help will also be limited to users 18 and older.
The company says it will improve the feature and consider expanding it to additional countries and types of emergencies after it learns more about how people are using it.