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Houston Neighbors Turn to Nextdoor During Extreme Flooding

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Written by Anne Dreshfield

Last week, when a historic amount of rain pounded down on Houston, neighbors and local public agencies turned to Nextdoor to communicate.

Studies show that the most connected communities are the most resilient during natural disasters, and Houston neighbors certainly found that to be true. Over roughly three days, as flood waters rose, communication regarding flooding increased 50x across Nextdoor neighborhoods in the Houston area.

“Our neighbors’ posts helped us avoid flooded areas. We helped keep each other safe.”

All told, more than 240 billion gallons of water fell on the greater Houston area, and over 100,000 people were without power over the course of several days. In that time, neighbors took to Nextdoor to discuss everything from where roads were completely flooded to recommendations for contractors, insurance referrals, and places to stay.

Our public agency partners in Houston, including the Houston Office of Emergency Managementalso turned to Nextdoor to quickly and easily communicate with their residents to help keep them safe. In the days of the flooding, more than 215,000 Nextdoor members in more than 170,000 households received an Urgent Alert, representing more than 20% of all the households in Houston. (Read more about how we power Urgent Alerts in times of crisis.)

Urgent Alert recipients across Houston, Texas.

Urgent Alert recipients across Houston, Texas.

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Urgent Alerts sent by the Houston Office of Emergency Management during the floods.

For many residents, Nextdoor was the main way to receive important updates and information.

“Our neighbors’ and Nearby Neighborhood posts helped us avoid flooded areas,” says Jeremy Shulse, the Lead and Founding Member in Nextdoor Waterview Estates. “We helped keep each other safe with Urgent Alerts and regular posts informing or asking about cleared paths, including ways to get to hospitals, work, and more. Thank you once again for making our lives better and our communities closer.”

We’re proud that Nextdoor has become a tool for neighbors and public agencies to use to connect and communicate during disasters like the flooding in Houston – proving that a connected community is indeed a stronger one.

Interested in joining Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Visit nextdoor.com to join your neighborhood’s website. If your public agency is interested in joining Nextdoor, contact us here to get started.

Image courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

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