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UPDATE: Mayor Turner Announces Houston’s Partnership With Nextdoor After It Proved Helpful During Harvey

The Mayor and the private social network discuss the importance of connected communities and social media in light of hurricane Harvey


Mayor Sylvester Turner is moving to social media to communicate with specific neighborhoods in Houston. The mayor is following the success of first responders that used the app NextDoor during hurricane Harvey.

Next Door
A screenshot shows how the NextDoor app works on mobile devices.

The app pairs you up with people in your neighborhood and others living nearby, by requiring address verification during the signup process.

The Mayor thus joined the Houston Police Department, Houston Fire Department, and the Office of Emergency Management, among others, on the mobile app. He thinks NextDoor proved its worth during Harvey.

"A connected community is a safer, stronger, and a much more resilient community," Turner said over a press conference on Tuesday.

For West Houston resident Sharon Evans, NextDoor was perfect for coordinating rescue efforts when her neighborhood flooded during Harvey. When their home began to flood, her husband Kenny used his boat to start rescuing neighbors.

"We got our whole neighborhood, along with some of the neighborhoods arounds us, to be able to be aware that boats were coming and to let us know when they were ready, or needing us to pick them up," said Sharon.

While in no way is NextDoor a replacement for calling 911, the app does allow first responders to receive messages from specific neighborhoods, and provide information specific to a person's location. In that regard HPD chief Art Acevedo said that he believes that the app is superior to Facebook or Twitter.

"It's designed for specific neighborhoods, where you'd think shared interest, shared challenges, and maybe shared values," said Acevedo. "You know, what is a priority in the northern most part of the city, may not be a priority in the southern most part of the city."


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