This social media app helps neighbors during hurricanes

A startup social media app has turned into a digital 911 this hurricane season that could help save lives during the next natural disaster.

Nextdoor, a private social network, found itself at the center of hurricane rescue efforts. The app provides users with the latest news from their neighborhood.

In an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman of “Countdown to the Closing Bell,” Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia said the social media app was designed to enhance the ability to be a good neighbor, which was demonstrated during the hurricane.

“We saw Nextdoor come alive and act as that lifeline connecting neighbors and connecting neighbors not just to each other but to public agencies and ultimately saving lives,” he said.

Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on Tuesday said the U.S. is not prepared to deal with large scale natural disasters.

“I think the last 35 days or so has been a gut check for Americans that we do not have a true culture of preparedness in this country,” Long told reporters at the White House.

Tolia said the responsibility of providing relief to those in need should not solely fall on the shoulders of government agencies, and everyday citizens must play their part.

“What we’ve seen over and over again is that technology can play a role. It can amplify voices, it can connect people, ultimately it can make our efforts stronger and that’s where Nextdoor comes in,” he said.

Nextdoor, which is based in San Francisco, California, serves over 80% of U.S. neighborhoods and provides a trusted platform for them to communicate.

“We think we have this incredible opportunity to not just build a great business but to help these neighborhoods get stronger and safer, particularly in some of these tragic times,” Tolia said.