Hurricane Irma: Facebook activates Safety Check service in Florida

With Hurricane Irma making landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday, Facebook has activated its Safety Check service that lets users notify friends and family that they are safe.

Continue Reading Below

The deadly storm is on a path for the west coast of Florida

Hurricane Irma, which has left a trail of devastation in the Caribbean, made landfall in the lower Florida Keys at 9.10 a.m. ET Sunday as a Category 4 storm.

A National Ocean Service station in Key West measured sustained winds of 71 mph and gusts up to 90 mph around 9 a.m. ET Sunday.

Facebook activated is Safety Check for Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean on Sept. 1.


Continue Reading Below

Designed for times of disaster or crisis, Safety Check lets users in a specific area notify friends and family that they are safe. Users can also check on others in the affected area and mark friends as safe.

People were also using the Safety Check for Hurricane Irma in Florida to request and offer help on Sunday morning.

The service, which was launched in 2014, has already been used in response to major events such as the Brussels terror attacks, the bombing in Ankara, Turkey and the attacks that rocked Paris in 2015. In June 2016, the service was activated for the first time in the U.S. following the mass shooting at Orlando's gay nightclub Pulse. Safety Check was also activated for the sniper attack on Dallas police officers and the terror attack in Nice, France. It was also used after the 2016 earthquake in Italy.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers