Tips and research from Nextdoor on neighborhood safety during a natural disaster
When a disaster strikes, it’s often your neighbors who serve as your first line of defense. A recent study in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction following Hurricane Harvey found that users of Nextdoor were 54% more likely to indicate their neighbors were helpful compared to those who had never used the platform.
Ensuring you have a neighborhood to rely on is crucial before, during, and after a hurricane. Here are some ways you can turn to Nextdoor to build a resilient support system within your local community for hurricane season and beyond.
How to prepare before a hurricane
- Find important safety information directly from local public agencies on Nextdoor, including upcoming storm alerts.
- Make an emergency plan for your household, and don’t forget to include safety essentials for any pets.
- Gather supplies for an emergency kit. Team up with neighbors to buy in bulk and save money, or share extra resources to ensure everyone has access to critical supplies.
- Prepare your home by taking precautions such as clearing drains and gutters, bringing in outside furniture, and installing storm shutters. Then, offer to assist older neighbors or those who may need additional help.
- Organize local hurricane preparedness groups to share tips including the locations of nearby shelters and different routes to get there in case of evacuation.
How to stay safe during hurricane conditions
- Find a safe location to ride out the storm and gather necessary emergency supplies.
- Receive emergency alerts from trusted local officials on Nextdoor.
- Share real-time updates about evacuation orders, flooding, and wreckage in your neighborhood.
- Send out urgent alerts among neighbors to coordinate potential rescue missions.
- Stay connected and check on your neighbors through Nextdoor during times of network congestion and high call volumes.
How to recover after a hurricane
- Remain safe after the storm by avoiding floodwater, wet electrical devices, and damaged buildings until local authorities determine it is safe.
- Assist neighbors who may have been injured or displaced.
- Engage in neighborhood-level coordinated recovery efforts to help with debris removal and more.
- Support local organizations on the frontlines by volunteering or donating.
- Take care of your emotional health, and know when and how to seek help. Coping with strong emotions as a unified neighborhood can help to recuperate after a disaster.
Keep in mind that you may also need to adjust your hurricane preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. When you check on neighbors, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations whenever possible.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by this year’s above-average hurricane season. Visit FEMA’s Ready.gov and the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on watches and warnings.
To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at nextdoor.com.