Facebook continues to deliver on its promise of upgrading its features to connect people in times of crisis/natural disasters. Today, the social network announced a new feature called Crisis Response. It is a central hub for all of the site's safety-related tools including Community Help, Safety Check, and Fundraisers. These three tools have been in existence for some time, but the company decided to consolidate these resources into one support center.

Community Help

Community Help was introduced back in 2016 at the Social Good Forum in New York. It is a tool designed to help users offer help during terror attacks or natural disasters.

The mechanism begins as users in the affected areas are prompted by a notification to turn on Safety Check when such events happen. Users who are interested in providing relief assistance can offer food, temporary shelter, or whatever help is needed.

Safety Check

Last month, the Safety Check feature received a permanent home on it Facebook's app and on the desktop. It is a tool to help users check the conditions and situations of their friends and family following a crisis. Recent terrorist attacks, including the one in Barcelona and Charlottesville, further emphasized the need and urgency for safety tools such as this one. The capability to be informed about the safety of loved ones during life-threatening incidents and disasters make all the difference and the social network wants to be that bridge of communication.

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The feature now has its own button that can be located in the app's navigation menu as well as via website on the desktop.

Fundraisers and other updates

Safety Check also ran a series of updates including the provision of disaster maps and crisis descriptions that users can read to have better awareness on the situation. In addition, there are new sharing options where people can post their own stories and experience. This is helpful because it goes beyond simply marking themselves as 'safe' and provides more information on their current situation. Further, it integrated Fundraisers, which will allow users to both create and donate platforms for charitable and personal causes, especially in the wake of a crisis. This extends the reach for more people to contribute, including those who are not in the affected areas.

The new hub

Crisis Response is a new section on Facebook that can be accessed from the menu button on the app or the site's homepage on a desktop. As mentioned, it integrates all of the three tools with some added features. The central hub can now provide links to articles, photos, and videos from or about the crisis or grave incident. All other functions exercised by the three main features still work the same, but they are now more accessible and reachable for users. The feature rolls out today and is expected to be available for all users in the coming weeks.