Facebook Assists Relief and Recovery Efforts for California Wildfires

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Facebook is donating $250,000 toward relief and recovery activities related to the wildfires raging across California: $150,000 to Community Foundation Sonoma County for resilience and recovery activities related to the Kincade fire, and $100,000 to Direct Relief, a nonprofit responding to medical needs.

The social network said hundreds of thousands of people have used its Safety Check feature to let friends and loved ones know they are safe, and over 12 million people have visited the Crisis Response pages for the Kincade, Tick, Getty, Saddleridge and Sandalwood wildfires.

More than 7,000 posts have appeared on those pages with people requesting or asking for assistance.

Facebook also shared its Disaster Maps—aggregated, anonymized data of user movement and population density—with emergency response organizations like Direct Relief.

The social network said it connected the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services with Direct Relief, which is producing movement maps to help response agencies understand whether people are complying with evacuation orders, and it generated population density maps by combining census data from Columbia University and satellite imagery that includes demographic breakouts of vulnerable populations, such as children and elderly, in order to help emergency responders locate them.

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