How to Offer or Ask For Help During An Emergency With Facebook

Facebook’s Safety Check is most well known for letting people know you’re safe during an emergency. However, if you’re in the affected area of a disaster and you need help or want to offer to help others, you can find people using it, too. Here’s how to find help or volunteer.

Head to the Safety Check section on Facebook here and click on the event in your area where you need or want to offer help.

Here, you’ll see a map of red and green dots. The red dots indicate someone who needs help, while the green dots indicate someone who is offering help.

To seek help from someone else, click the Find Help drop down and you’ll see a list of categories like shelter, water, and food. Click one of these to filter the map results to show only the posts that are relevant to your need.

On the map, click a dot near you to see what a person is offering. Then, you can click to see the post where the person is offering help, or send a message to the person directly.

If you want to offer help, there are two ways to do it. First, you can click red dots to look for people who have already made posts asking for something you can offer. Click the Give Help button to filter the map using the same categories as above. You can find people who need food, shelter, transportation, fuel, pet supplies, and other necessities.

When you click on a red dot, you can see who needs help, what they need, and the general area where they are. You can comment on their post or send a message to connect with them and offer some assistance.

Whether you’re giving help or asking for it, once you’ve chosen a category, you can create your own post. It’s usually a better idea to find an existing post, but if there’s no one offering or asking for the kind of help you need, you can make one. To do so, click Create Post.

A window will appear where you can enter your address (though only your rough location will be shared until you contact someone) and what kind of help you need or what you can offer. You can change the privacy settings on the post if you only want to ask your friends, friends of friends, or the public in general.

Whether you’re giving or receiving, Facebook gives you plenty of ways to help out so check the Safety Center during or after a disaster to see how you can contribute, or get the help you need.

Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.