We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, because there’s now a Facebook feature that lets your friends and family know you’re safe and sound in the event of a natural disaster.

Earlier this month, Facebook launched Safety Check, a new app that keeps you connected with loved ones during unexpected disasters. Here’s how it works: A push notification pops up if you’re in an affected area. If you’re safe, you can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and news-feed story will be generated with your update. Your friends can also mark you as safe, and you’ll also be able to check an updated list on any pals who are in the danger zone.

Zuck announced the feature in Facebook’s Japan office, seeing as the Safety Check was inspired by the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan and the tsunami that followed in March 2011. Facebook’s engineers in Japan recognized the need to make it easier to connect with loved ones during such times of need, so they built the Disaster Message Board. After seeing an incredible response to the feature, Facebook knew it was essential to take it global and integrate the short-lived disaster messaging tool into a whole new product that’s accessible on Android, iOS and desktop.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, are you ready? Let us know what precautions you take in the comments below.