Facebook and the American Red Cross are teaming up to ensure that people are prepared for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Friday.
The social network said more people visit its Crisis Response center during hurricanes than during any other type of event, adding that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Matthew were among the top 10 crises that spurred people to use its Safety Check feature, which has been used more than 9 million times during and after hurricanes.
More than 1.5 million people have joined groups related to hurricane-relief efforts, Facebook added.
Facebook and the American Red Cross shared the following tips for staying safe during hurricane season, also directing users here to learn more:
- Build an emergency kit with one gallon of water per person, per day; non-perishable food; a flashlight; a battery-powered radio; a first aid kit; medications; supplies for an infant, if applicable; a multipurpose tool; personal hygiene items; copies of important papers; cell-phone chargers; extra cash; blankets; maps of the area; and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store.
- Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Be informed. Learn about the community’s emergency-response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets.
The two organizations added that social media is critical to emergency preparedness, response and recovery. One of the best ways to prepare for hurricane season is to learn about how you can use social media to connect and find support during a crisis. Facebook’s Crisis Response allows people affected by a crisis to tell friends they’re safe, find or offer help and get the latest news and information. Specifically, you can use Crisis Response to:
- Quickly let your loved ones know you’re safe and, if you know people near the affected area, you can also ask them to mark themselves safe.
- Connect with other people affected by crises to give or get resources like water, supplies or shelter from one another
- Find up-to-date information about a crisis from a variety of news sources.
- Donate or raise money to support those affected by crises.