Health centers look to new Facebook tools for help during disasters

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HOUSTON – Community health centers that helped thousands of people in Texas during and after Hurricane Harvey have new Facebook tools that could help them offer aid during the upcoming hurricane season.

About 20 centers met in Houston this week to learn about the tools. One is Community Help, a page within Facebook where aid organizations, businesses and government agencies can now post what services they offer during a specific crisis.

The other is Disaster Maps. It uses geolocation data gathered from people using Facebook to show select organizations where people are located to help agencies better deliver aid.

It’s currently being used in Hawaii amid the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. One medical aid nonprofit, Direct Relief, says it’s working to expand access, particularly in other hurricane-prone states.

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