By Lisa Eadicicco
February 8, 2017

Facebook’s Safety Check feature makes it possible for users to let friends and family know that they’re safe after an incident has occurred in their area. Now, the social media giant is going one step further by letting those affected find help and supplies through the platform.

The new feature, called Community Help, allows people find resources such as food, shelter, transportation, and water via Facebook after Safety Check has been activated. It will be put into affect for natural and accidental incidents, like building fires and earthquakes, and will debut in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Saudi Arabia for its first couple of weeks, according to Facebook.

Facebook

The company says it will improve the feature and consider expanding it to additional countries and types of emergencies after it learns more about how people are using it.

People wishing to donate will be able to give supplies through the social network, and those seeking help will be able to view posts by location and category. For example, a Facebook member in need of baby supplies after a crisis will be able to filter Community Help posts to only see those in which baby supplies are being offered.

Facebook says it consulted experts and humanitarian relief organizations when developing the new feature.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has launched features aimed at helping its members donate to specific causes. In 2015, the company made it possible for non-profit organizations to launch standalone fundraiser pages.

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