Ask Roxanne Ross:  Facebook Safety Check, Good For You, Your Family, Friends and Strangers

Little chills were skipping up and down my back today as I at “Ask Roxanne Ross, Your Savvy Biz Strategist” launch my blog format. At first, I struggled a bit with what should be my FIRST topic. Next, I thought, it really doesn’t matter as long as it helps my readers. And then I found a news item on the Facebook Safety Check expansion, which lets people in trouble reach out to people who can help.

It is a great feat of technological wizardry. Just as TV started as a live, then taped entertainment medium and grew into a vibrant news medium, so has Facebook moved from just passive pictures of doggies and kitties to something people actively reach for in times of distress.

Preethi Chetan, Facebook Safety Check product designer has been quoted as saying “We want to create a space on Facebook…that connects communities in the aftermath of a crisis and helps people feel safe faster, recover, and rebuild.”

The way Safety Check is designed to function is simple. A disaster story is reported. People in the local area offer water, clothing, shelter, whatever they have that will fill a need. Victims go to the Safety Check special page, list what they need and contact the givers over Messenger. Genius. The power of the Internet to help.

Plan is for Facebook to launch this right away in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Saudi Arabia. Later for other countries. Initially for natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. Later most likely for man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks.

If you would like more info on this Facebook feature, Tech Crunch posted a solid story with info and some history on the steps Facebook took to get to this high level of customer engagement with their users. Click here for the details on the original Safety Check feature.