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If you have a first aid kit, do you know how to use what's inside, beyond the bandaids? Even if you've been to a first aid class in the last few years—which you likely haven't, unless you've been working in child care, or as a lifeguard, or in another specialized job—you might not immediately remember what to do when you're faced with a real-life emergency. Can better-designed first aid kits help?

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You probably use Facebook to connect with friends and family, LinkedIn to connect with your professional network, and Twitter to connect with those with common interests. But could you also use a social network to connect with the neighbors on your block?
The digital world is sometimes blamed for keeping people from connecting in real life, but we believe it can also be a tool to bring a community closer. Getting to know your neighbors can be tricky. We’re all living incredibly busy lives, and even if you think you could just walk over and introduce yourself to your neighbors, it might just not happen. In fact, 28 percent of Americans don’t know any of their neighbors by name.
Knowing that over 65 percent of all online adults use social networking sites, a group of experienced entrepreneurs created a new solution: Nextdoor.com, a free and private social network for neighborhoods. 79 percent of Americans who use an online neighborhood forum talk with their neighbors in-person at least one time a month, compared to 61 percent of all Americans. We see this happening all the time with Nextdoor—online conversations are often brought offline.
Posts about lost dogs go up on Nextdoor and then the dog is returned in person. Neighbors plan parties on the site and then will get together for the big event. Members notice a crime increase in the neighborhood and use the site to organize a neighborhood watch meeting. By giving neighbors an easy way to meet one another and communicate, Nextdoor actually creates real-world connections that would not have happened without using technology.
For example, neighborhoods on the East Coast used Nextdoor to provide real-time Hurricane Sandy alerts, safety tips, updates on electricity, and met in person to offer their support. Other neighborhoods across the country used Nextdoor to organize fundraising events in their neighborhoods to help those in need.
We believe that amazing things can happen just by talking with the people next door. Technology is a powerful tool for making neighborhoods stronger, safer places to call home.

Hang out with your neighbors on the last Saturday of April (a day we're calling "Neighborday"). Click here to say you'll Do It, and we'll send you GOOD's Neighborday Survival Guide and a bunch of other fun stuff.

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Brooklyn After Hurricane Sandy Through Lens of Photojournalist Mo Gelber

Photojournalist Mo Gelber document the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, exploring some of the areas worst hit by the storm.

With the worst of Hurricane Sandy now behind us, New York, and most places east of the Mississippi affected by the powerful "Frankenstorm" are now picking up the pieces of their rattled cities. In New York, many are still without power, subways are flooded, and lives are changed forever.

Photojournalist Mo Gelber, a Brooklyn local, set out to document the aftermath yesterday, exploring some of the areas worst hit by the storm, like Coney Island. He brought back these arresting visuals. While many people in Brooklyn were lucky, these images show that there were just as many who were not.

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How You Can Really Help After a Disaster: Get Yourself Prepared

Even after witnessing the horrific natural disasters of the past week, most of us aren't prepared for one. Why not get started this weekend?

Those of us living on the West Coast have been on high alert for a week now after Japan's massive earthquake. Last Friday many of us were awakened with calls warning us about the incoming tsunami. Now, with reports that radioactive particles from a damaged reactor may reach southern California this weekend, a new wave of worries has hit, and along with it, a slew of misinformation. While the radiation doesn't seem to be a serious concern, we were still dismayed to learn that only 60 percent of Californians have disaster kits at home, and only half have an emergency plan for their family.

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