When a natural disaster hits, your neighbors often serve as the first line of defense. As Hurricane Harvey tore down coastal Texas, residents turned to those Nextdoor neighbors who were immediately able to help them in times of need. Our thoughts are with those in Texas impacted by the storm, as well as the communities in the path of Hurricane Irma, Jose, and Katia.
We put together a few tips on how to use Nextdoor to stay safe and help your neighbors as the storm bears down. Remember: a connected neighborhood is a safer neighborhood.
- Add your emergency contacts to Nextdoor. The feature allows members to add up to three people to their profile as emergency contacts, making it easier for neighbors to easily connect with them in times of need or concern. Members are encouraged to use the Emergency Contacts feature in instances where a neighbor’s safety is in question and they cannot be reached. Learn more here.
- Discuss evacuation orders and routes with neighbors. Many neighbors are using Nextdoor to discuss the accessibility of their neighborhood’s roads, bridges, and streets. If your neighborhood is within an evacuation area, post on Nextdoor to let everyone know and determine the safest route out of the neighborhood. Start a thread to account for everyone who has evacuated and who hasn’t.
- Ask neighbors if they need help. Neighbors have reported that they’ve used Nextdoor to ask for help putting up storm shutters, hauling extra sandbags, and determining which local stores still have water and ice in stock. Make sure to check in on any elderly or disabled neighbors who may not be able to properly secure their home themselves. Your neighbors might need supplies you have on hand, whether it’s bottled water, shelf-stable food, storm shutters, or an extra generator. Let your neighbors know how you can help in case they need it.
- Stay connected with your local public safety agencies. More than 85 public agency partners across Florida alone are using Nextdoor to connect with local residents and give them vital information on how to stay safe during Hurricane Matthew. Police departments, fire departments, and offices of emergency management can all use Nextdoor to disseminate vital information during emergencies or natural disasters.
- Use Urgent Alerts when necessary. An Urgent Alert is a special type of post that reaches members immediately via mobile phone text message and email. It’s intended for the rare cases where information is very important and time-sensitive, such as flooding or evacuations.
To connect with your neighbors, visit www.nextdoor.com or sign onto our free apps for iPhone and Android.
From all of us at Nextdoor, stay safe.
Join your neighborhood on Nextdoor here.
Do you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.