September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), when we are all reminded how important it is to prepare for emergencies with our communities and families. The slogan for this year is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.” And for good reason. Once an emergency happens, it’s too late to prepare, which is why we recommend visiting the official National Preparedness Month website for more information.
Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods. We care deeply about the safety of the communities we serve. Here are some simple steps to jumpstart your own preparations:
- Make an emergency plan with your family and community
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors
- Sign up for Nextdoor’s urgent alerts
- Fill out your Nextdoor profile, including skills that you can offer in times of crisis, such as CPR certification.
- Encourage public safety agencies that serve your neighborhood to join Nextdoor if they haven’t already, to receive timely updates during emergencies
- Sign up for a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT/NERT) certification course
It’s clear that neighbors who know each other and have a way to communicate are better prepared when emergencies happen. And while we have seen members use Nextdoor as a tool to become more prepared, we have also seen how essential Nextdoor can be during times of emergency.
For example, during the Napa Earthquake in 2014, discussions about the earthquake surged as neighbors used Nextdoor to see who else felt the earthquake and check-in with each other. We have seen similar spikes in neighbor interaction on Nextdoor during floods, hurricanes, and fires.
For weather-related events, neighbors use Nextdoor to connect before, during and after the event. In these scenarios Nextdoor is a way to stay connected to the neighborhood in times of crisis. Note the flood conversations in the graphic below, where people had several days to prepare beforehand and engage with each other on Nextdoor.
Over 1,000 public agencies, such as offices of emergency management and police departments, have partnered with Nextdoor over the last two years. These agencies use Nextdoor in a variety of ways, whether it’s to engage the community and promote preparedness with safety information, or even to send out targeted urgent alerts before and during emergencies.
“Services like Nextdoor, which promote interaction and community development, can play a key role in laying the foundation for better preparedness,” said Dr. Daniel Aldrich, professor of political science and Co-Director of the Security and Resilience Studies Program at Northeastern University.
Throughout the month we’ll share stories about communities that have used Nextdoor to connect with each other during emergencies in their communities.