Facebook is ramping up its efforts to become a disaster and crisis response tool.
Facebook’s users often connect on the social network to seek relief and provide support during times of crisis. Now, the company is updating its Safety Check feature to make it easier for people to find or give help such as food, shelter or transportation during local disasters.
Safety Check lets users in a certain geographic area mark themselves as safe after disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal or terrorist attacks in Paris, giving friends and family members relief from worry about whether someone was affected.
The new Community Help tool will let users post requests for assistance or offers of help from within Safety Check, and can be filtered by category and location, according to Preethi Chethan, a product designer at Facebook.
Facebook first started Safety Check in response to the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Community Help will be initiated for natural disasters and accidents, like earthquakes or building fires, according to a blog post by Naomi Gleit, a Facebook vice president.