Status: I’m safe.

Woke up this morning and checked Facebook where a friend’s status immediately shook out the grogginess. The post stated that he had “marked himself safe during The Earthquake in Ecuador.”

The post itself was surprising because he’s hardly ever on social media and so, who knew he was there? Nonetheless, the status immediately brought a sense of relief.

It also prompted WeSeeHSE to share some information about Facebook Safety Check. According to the company, here’s how it works: “If you’re near a natural disaster, you can tell friends if you’re safe and check to see if they’re safe, too.”

It’s not something that a user can activate. Facebook chooses when to activate and asks users who are in the affected area the option to indicate if they are “safe.” Facebook launched its Safety Check function in October 2014 and like many new applications, it has had its share of glitches. However, WE SEE Facebook’s Safety Check as a great communication tool in reaching a lot of people at once when inquiring minds want to know how you’re doing.

Facebook’s Safety Check is relevant. With more than 1.5 billion users on Facebook every day, it remains the largest social media network in the world. While there are many users who post their whereabouts — you know, that person who always shares every action of the day and “checks in” his or her location. Well, there are many others who prefer not to share their every move, which by the way from a security standpoint is best. Regardless, any social media user knows that when the social media application is in use, the app detects the user’s whereabouts.

Within days there were a series of powerful and deadly earthquakes that struck Japan and Ecuador. In both cases, Facebook activated its Safety Check. The company also activated Safety Check during terror attacks.

The social media giant isn’t just stopping at creating a resource for its users to connect with their loved ones. Facebook has created its own “Disaster Response on Facebook” site that posts information about events like these recent earthquakes. The site ( features “Prepare & Respond Guides” and states “This guide aims to share useful tips and examples of best practices to help you most effectively use Facebook before, during and after a disaster.”

The guides contain 30 pages of tips and examples of how to set up a Facebook page as a communication tool before, during and after a disaster; and how to coordinate with other groups and engage with followers. Hopefully, Facebook is working on translating these guides into more languages.

Going to these sites is just one way of communicating with loved ones. Check out “Personal Disaster Strikes! Who you gonna call?” for more tips on how to prepare for a disaster. Then, put something in motion to establish your safety status no matter where you are.

WeSeeHSE: Seeing, Sharing, Informing

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