Facebook tool helps charities find evacuees who need help

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — During a disaster like Hurricane Florence, many emergency responders need to pinpoint the trouble spots so they can rescue people. For others, it’s more important to know where evacuees fled to escape the danger.

Some of those charities are using a disaster mapping tool recently developed by Facebook to help do that in North Carolina. The tool provides anonymous data to show locations that are shedding people and those that are gaining them. It tracks the movements of groups, but not individuals.

A nonprofit called Direct Relief provides medicine and supplies to health centers that serve the poor. Direct Relief uses the data to anticipate which community health centers will get more evacuees and what their medical needs will be.

A spokeswoman says Facebook provides the information at no charge.

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