Hurricane Harvey: Facebook lets family and friends know you’re safe


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on Texas at this very moment. If you live in or near the affected areas, friends and family will want to know you’re okay — and you’ll want to let them know.

Enter Facebook Safety Check, a feature designed for exactly that purpose. Until now, you had to wait for the Facebook to activate the tool, but that’s no longer the case.

Safety Check is now integrated into the mobile apps, meaning you can manually notify friends of your status as well as follow crises worldwide and even offer support. 

The only trick is finding it. When Facebook does a server-side activation, you’ll usually see a notification right at the top of the app. But if you want to access the feature yourself, it requires a bit of menu-diving.

How to let friends know you’re safe

In Android, tap the Menu icon (the three little lines) located near the upper-right corner of the screen, then scroll down until you see Safety Check. On my Nokia 6, it was right near the top of the list.

On my iPhone (tap the Menu icon near the lower-right corner of the screen), however, Safety Check was way down the Explore list — I had to tap See More just to get to it. (Your mileage may vary.)

Once you’re there, you’ll see a news feed with from around the world; tap any entry to tell friends you’re safe, search for friends in the affected area and view available fundraisers.

At press time, Safety Check had no mention of Hurricane Harvey — and here’s hoping it stays that way.

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