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Facebook's new tool will notify friends of your safety after a disaster

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Posted at 9:31 AM, Oct 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-19 19:13:34-04

Have you ever been worried about a Facebook friend’s safety after a disaster? The social media service now has a tool to ease those anxieties.

Designed in response to disasters like the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that affected more than 12.5 million people in Japan, Safety Check is designed to let friends and family know you are alright after such an event.

According to a release from Facebook, if you have the feature turned on, it will activate automatically on your mobile device, based on your location’s proximity to the affected area.

“We’ll determine your location by looking at the city you have listed in your profile, your last location if you’ve opted in to the Nearby Friends product, and the city where you are using the Internet,” the release stated.

The feature will then prompt you to answer whether or not you are safe — notifying your friends via their News Feed.

“If you have friends in the area of a natural disaster and the tool has been activated, you will receive a notification about those friends that have marked themselves as saved,” wrote Facebook’s officials.

See this Newsy report for more on the new Safety Check feature:

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.