Facebook Safety Check update starts TODAY

This week the folks at Facebook have released their newest Safety Check update that you and your family need to pay attention to. As Facebook is one of the most-used services on a smartphone in the world, they're pushing a lot of resources into their Safety Check system. This is the system that allows quick action for people in danger zones when terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or otherwise life-threatening events occur.

The update this week will allow Facebook users to mark themselves as "SAFE" with more detail than was allowed in the past. While it's still possible to simply make a Facebook post – or send a text message, or a Facebook message, etcetera – Facebook's Safety Check system expands nonetheless. With a name like SAFETY CHECK, it's the first place family members and friends look to check for safety.

When a person marks themselves as SAFE with the Safety Check system, an extra note will be added – if they wish. This extra note will allow people to add more context to their safety marker and will tag crisis descriptions from NC4. NC4 is what Facebook describes as "our trusted third party global crisis reporting agency, within the Safety Check."

This update brings the Community Help system to a larger user set – and allows Community Help to be used on the desktop as well as in all crisis types where Safety Check is activated. Community Help is a way for people within a disaster zone can seek help or offer help. According to Facebook, "After the Brazil floods in May 2017, there were 9,000 listings in Community Help from local people offering and seeking help."

Fundraisers in Safety Check will be launched inside the United States with this update. Not that Facebook hasn't offered ways to help fundraise in the past, mind you. But with this update, fundraising will be much more visible within and during a Safety Check situation.

These updates will be going live immediately if not soon. For more information on Safety Check, see the article about Facebook Safety Check and Google Person Finder from back in April of 2015, during the Nepal Quake that occurred just over two years ago.